Isaiah 55, 1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8, 35 + 37-39; Matthew 14, 13-21

By +Guy Sansaricq

The story of the multiplication of the loaves that we hear in today’s Gospel subtly addresses the issue of world hunger. Jesus stunned his apostles with his command: “Feed them yourselves.” The twelve had only five breads and two fish. Jesus’ order made little sense, yet, they obeyed. “Boy o Boy! No dinner for us tonight!” they were probably mumbling. Then the miracle occurred. The crowd of five thousand was fed and, O surprise! There were twelve baskets of leftovers. They then realized that the miracle happened only when they had agreed to give up the little they had. What would have happened if they had refused to share? Great things happen when we give up all we have.  What a lesson!

Beyond that lesson on the fruitfulness of self sacrifice, this miracle is what we call a MESSIANIC SIGN, a grandiose miracle announcing a greater mystery, that of the Eucharist. Jesus is actually the bread offered to us in great abundance. The words of Prophet Isaiah in the 1st reading find their meaning in this context: “All you who have no money come receive grain and eat. Heed me and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare!”  Yes! “The Lord satisfies the deepest desires of the human heart!

Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharistic bread is one of the greatest teachings of Jesus as well as the teaching on the fruitfulness of self sacrifice. May you be particularly enlightened by today’s readings!