The multiplication of the loaves and fishes isn't just a nice story from many generations ago with no significant relevance for us today. It has the potential to speak to us in a profound way in modern times and is very applicable to our current circumstances. Put yourself in the story. Are you one of the thousands following Jesus? Are you the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish? Are you one of the disciples? Imagine yourself as Philip receiving the question directly from Jesus, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" What are the emotions you experience as you role-play each of the parts?
A couple other components of the story also serve as good reminders. Jesus gave thanks. How faithful are we at being people of gratitude? Is a prayer of gratitude and blessing before each meal part of our regular routine?
There was food left over. Do we trust in the abundance of God's love or do we only see ourselves as lacking this or that?
What message is there for the Church in regard to caring for those who have needs--food, shelter, clothing? What is the message for us as individuals in regard to caring for those in need?
What does the Gospel account say to us in regard to approaching our Lord in Holy Communion? Do we believe in the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist? Do we believe we are receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ each time we receive Holy Communion?
I invite you to review your demeanor at church, especially at the time of receiving Holy Communion. How do you approach the altar? Are you distracted, nonchalant, unbelieving? Are you filled with wonder and awe that you have the opportunity to approach the table of the Lord to receive the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Based upon what you experience in the depths of your being as you approach the communion minister, how humbly are you receiving our Lord? Did you truly mean it when you said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof." Did you even give it any thought when you uttered the words?
We are going to continue to hear from John's Gospel chapter 6 for the next few weekends at Mass. I want to encourage you to take out your Bible at home and prayerfully read Chapter 6 in its entirety. Allow God to speak to you in the depths of your being. Know of His Presence in the Word and in the Eucharist. Experience the abundant love of God!
"I Am The Bread Of Life. He Who Comes To Me Shall Not Hunger."