Reflection on the Scriptures Eighteenth Sunday Gospel A The miraculous feeding of the crowd

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 Eighteenth Sunday Gospel A

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. 

· When have we experienced a sense of compassion for the needs of others? Have there been times we forgot about ourselves and totally gave ourselves to provide for the needs of others?

When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves." 

· On the other hand, have there been times we acted more like the disciples, thinking we were being practical and realistic in addressing an issue, but in fact it may not have been what God wanted?

(Jesus) said to them, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have here."

· When were the times that we couldn’t see the bigger plan of God in a situation?  We saw the problem not the possibility.  On the human level it looks impossible to resolve, but not for God.

Then he said, "Bring them here to me," and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.

· Notice the four actions: taking, blessing, breaking and giving.  Notice too how similar the same actions are to the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. These actions were normal at any Jewish meal.

· In the OT the prophet Elisha is recorded as feeding miraculously a much smaller group. (cf 2 kings 4:42-33)

· What do you think was going on in the minds of the disciple as they shared the fragments with so many?

· There may have been several miracles going on at once. One was that five thousand were fed through the multiplication of five loaves and two fish. Another was the faith of the disciples as it must have grown in the process.

· Where has God used you to touch the lives of others, even though at first you didn’t understand?

They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over  --twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children. 

· This miracle of the feeding of the thousands is the only one of the many signs and wonders Jesus did that is accounted in all four Gospels.

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