At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over — seven baskets full.
I DO NOT WANT TO SEND THEM AWAY HUNGRY. In the Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the Good Shepherd who responds to the needs of his flock. He has been with the crowds for already three days. They have not left Jesus because they keep clinging to his words. They listen carefully to his instructions and teachings. He also heals the sick whom people bring to him. Jesus’ response to the crowds is complete. Aside from preaching and healing the sick, he also multiplies bread and fish. And when the leftovers are gathered, the disciples count seven wicker baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
More than 700 years earlier, Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Lord of hosts. According to his prophecy, all peoples shall partake in a grand and bountiful feast. The Lord himself will lift the veil of shame from all nations. He will not only fill in the stomachs of those who are hungry; he will even save them from ignominy. Best of all, he will defeat death itself!
Jesus multiplies bread and fish through the contribution of his disciples, and help coming from the crowds. Such is the pattern how God works on our behalf. God always thinks of our well-being; God is always our ally. But God also expects our contribution and acts of sharing. However little or ordinary, if we put them in God’s hands, they can go a long way.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.