thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Friday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
Our gospel passage from John offers us an account of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. All four gospels record these accounts in one way or another – indicating how important this miracle was for early. This miracle left such a lasting impression because of its superabundance. Jesus did more than provide unexpected food, he filled their hunger and left twelve baskets full of “fragments” from the bread. That last detail, the “fragments,” points to another reason for the focus of the gospels on this miracle. The term used there is the term that early Christians used in the breaking of the bread that was their Eucharistic participation in the Lord’s paschal mystery. These men and women of faith came to understand Jesus’ miracle as a prophetic indication of the abundance that would flow from the gift of His grace long after and far beyond that original miracle in Galilee. They heard these words as we typically do, gathered to be fed in abundance by the Good Shepherd.
While it’s true that we who profess faith in Jesus often fail, the more important and lasting truth is the one revealed by the Saints: when men and women of faith live that grace of Jesus the world is changed and that grace is multiplied in superabundance. That which is of God does not and cannot fail. Look across the ages at how that tiny beleaguered band became a Church from every nation spread across the centuries and the globe. See how the Saints have lived the Lord’s call to communion and compassion. So many things we take for granted today have sprung from a Christian culture of love: human rights, charitable organizations, the need for the strong to assist and protect the vulnerable. All these things did not exist when the Apostles set out across the Roman world. In every generation, the saints reveal the presence, will, and work of the God of love. And the Lord Jesus feeds the Saints with His body, the “fragments” from that superabundance of love that are the gift of the Eucharist.