Feeding the Five Thousand

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday
Of The Eighteenth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus wanted to be alone in a lonely place after hearing the news of the death of John the Baptist who was his cousin too.  But inspite of this when the crowds followed him and he did not get angry nor did he get irritated, instead he healed the sick.  He could feel their pain and never hesitated when anyone came to him for healing.  We see Jesus’ Compassionate heart here.  .

When he saw that the people were with him for a long time and it was evening, he knew that they had not eaten for long time and must have been hungry, he called for the five loaves and two fish and multiplied it to be shared to the crowds could have been more than 10,000 though it is mentioned 5000 as only the number of men were counted and women and children were not accounted for.

In this act we also see glimpse of breaking of bread and given to everyone.  Jesus was preparing his disciples for the Eucharist which they would perform after he is gone.  This also reminds us of the manna that came from heaven and fed the multitude of Israelites on their way to the promised land.  

We also see the abundance that God provides, even after all the 5000+ ate they had 12 baskets left over.  This passage shows us how compassionate God is, and for this one has to love.  If there is no love, one will not feel the pain of others.  God is love and he only thinks of our good and never abandons us only we need to call his to him with complete faith and trust.  And in return strive to have a heart of Jesus and be compassionate towards people around us.

Let us pray that we too would work towards being the real image of Jesus that all should see the light of Jesus shining through and share our belongings with others, be it time, food, clothes, etc.

 

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Reflection by John…

Matthew the writer of the Gospel, targets the Jews as his audience. He wants them to see Jesus as their Lord and God, revisiting – relive(ing) – correcting, Israel’s History. Here in today’s Gospel Reading, we have Jesus multiplying food. This sounds like Israel’s grumbling in the wilderness, when there was a shortage of food and they lost faith in Yahweh, who had just a short time before rescued them from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea to the detriment of the Egyptian armies, and set them free. So what should have been their response in this time when they had less. I believe they should had gone to Yahweh, sat before Him and grumbled away, that in His goodness, He provide for them. They failed to do this, they did not have a confident relationship with Yahweh, because they had grown on a tyrannical relationship of harsh slavery in Egypt. There they looked at everything suspiciously. But now, they were neither ready to learn.

Here then is Jesus – the Son of God paralleling Israel – Yahweh’s Chosen; elevated/elected to being God’s Child, he-Jesus responds to Israel’s past of grumbling and complaining about food in two events.

  1. Man shall not leave by bread alone, he responds to the Devil’s temptation in the wilderness, by every word that comes from the mouth of God, because it is a promise and assurance. Something that a person can dwell in, and live by, in confidence.
  2. In today’s Gospel Reading we can look as living and dwelling on/in God’s word, because God provides from his unfathomable Wisdom. And if we were to apply the moral of the Mary and Martha story, this crowd is like Mary, they have chosen the better part, not worrying about food and drink like. And God is assuring all those Martha’s in the crowd of 5000, by multiplying the food.

Our world view may be like Martha’s, practical, but we must learn to go beyond and start to practice to live like Mary. Only then will we see God working in our life. We will find reason and incidents when we can confidently claim how God provided, how He was there. We will experience God near who knows everything about you, and is providing for you. Not a God removed from your life and far away. All this can be your life, start in small ways, choosing to do things where your knowledge and understanding of Him increases, especially when it is inconvenient. You will see Him meeting your need spiritually and also physically.

Pray to the Holy Spirit to give you the courage and presence of mind to live the holy life with Him besides you, guiding and steering you to right ways.

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