LOVE, FAITH, SHARING
SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
The miracle described in the first reading shows God´s concern for his people during a time of famine. The bread was meant to be offered to God. But instead of offering to God, Elisha, the prophet of the old covenant, gave it to the people. The left-overs stress God´s generosity.
Jesus, the prophet of the new covenant, feeds hungry people, and does so even more astonishingly. There are clear Eucharistic overtones in the way the miracle is related. Jesus “took the loaves, gave Thanks, and distributed them to the people”. Such language is meant to remind us of what he did at the Last Supper, and of what happens every time we celebrate the Eucharist.
This miracle, once again, shows us the love and attention of Jesus for his people: Jesus takes care of his people and is attentive to their needs. In this case they need to eat and he satisfies them abundantly. Later they will also need the nourishment of life and, with this miracle, he anticipates the institution of the Eucharist for those who follow him.
It is also important to observe the obedience of the disciples; at first they are disoriented, there is no food around, they find only five loaves of bread and two fish: what is that for so many people; but when Jesus orders them to tell the people to seat on the ground and begin the distribution of the loaves and fish, they obey trusting in the Lord.
Sharing is also essential in this miracle. Jesus could feed the people on their own, without needing any help, but he uses what a child shares, five loaves and two fish, all that he has. That "little quantity", generously shared, becomes "a lot" with the power of Jesus. In order to work the miracle Jesus make use of what we are and we have, and to this he adds his power and his Grace.
Love, faith, obedience and sharing are three fundamental characteristics of the person who wants to follow Christ, who wants to receive the fruits of Salvation, who wants a better world according to the thoughts and will of God.
Let us ask the Lord to increase our faith, our obedience, and to help us live them with greater love and sharing with our sisters and brothers. In this way we will collaborate with The Lord so that the effects of the miracle will remain present and operative in us and in the world.