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. (Matthew 15:29-37)
Jesus’ miracles demonstrated the power of God and the magnitude of his mercy. When the disciples were confronted by Jesus with the task of feeding four thousand people many miles away from any source of food, they exclaimed: Where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?
Like the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness, Jesus, himself provides bread in abundance for the hungry crowd who came out into the desert to seek him. The gospel records that all were satisfied, and they took up what was left over.
In the multiplication of the loaves and fishes we see a sign and a symbol of what God always does. God knows our needs and he cares. When God gives, he gives in abundance.
If there is hunger and suffering and death in the world, it is not the work of God. It is our failure to work for the good of all.
Christmas is a time of giving. We could ask ourselves: To whom are we giving? With whom are we sharing what we have or can afford to buy? Perhaps we could widen the circle this Christmas with gifts that mean life or death for the receivers. Beneficiaries who will never know who their benefactors are and who will not be able to give anything back. Did Jesus not say something about giving so quietly that the left hand will not know what the right hand is doing.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you alone can satisfy the longing and hunger in our hearts. May I thirst for your kingdom and find joy in your presence. Give me the true bread of heaven and nourish me with your life-giving word.”
In Philippians 2:5, Saint Paul urges us to have the same feelings as Christ. Christ searches man out in his necessity and manages to be there for us to find. How good he is to us; and how important we are to him! Our hearts should always swell with gratitude and admiration and a sincere wish to be His reflection to the world.