17th Sunday of Oridnary Time, year ’B’ 17e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année ’B’

“Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and disturbed them to those sitting there; he then did the same with the fish, distributing as much as they wanted.”
Monday 13 July 2015

2 R. 4,42-44 Ps.144 Ep.4,1-6 Jn.6,1-15

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’

“Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ’Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’”

The speech about the Bread of life begins with one of Jesus’ miracles where he feeds a huge crowd with five loaves and two fish. This is a sign of God’s power, to turn us towards Him with great confidence. Jesus is beyond natural laws, having a power over them. We are touched by Jesus as we contemplate him. ’Jesus had gone to the other side of the Lake of Tiberius.’ First of all there is this passage about this unleashed sea. Jesus wants to take us further with this passage. Jesus looks with compassion on the crowd that follows him because they had seen some accomplished signs. They are all touched by Jesus, but Jesus is touched by them. This is a needy and hungry crowd, bearing the heat of the day and carrying the sick with them. A suffering people, on the move. Jesus takes pity on this crowd. ’He is taken hold of in the depths of his being’ in His depths of love and mercy. He already desires his disciples to co-operate with him in this work of love that is Salvation.

“Jesus said this only to put Philip to the test; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered: ’Two hundred denarii would not buy them enough to give them a little piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ’Here is a small boy with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that among so many?’ Jesus said to them, ’Make the people sit down. ’There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were sitting there; he then did the same with the fish, distributing as much as they wanted.”

The miracles Jesus performs have a final aim in manifesting God’s love for mankind.He heals, brings the dead back to life, nourishes the crowds…Jesus

comes and helps all men, restoring their health, their dignity, their life. Jesus’ miracles bear witness to his loving benevolent care towards mankind, and are a sign of his power. Andrew had noticed a boy, so taken up by Jesus that he had forgotten to eat his bread and fish.So they tell Jesus! But what is that for so many people? God is overflowing with life, light and love! Each one had eaten to his fill, attentive to others. It is given to us to enter into this overabundance, to give without sparing.

“When they had eaten enough he said to his disciples, ’Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing is wasted. ’So they picked them up and filled twelve large baskets with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. Seeing the sign that he had done, the people said, ’This is indeed the prophet who is to come into he world.’ Jesus, as they realised they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, fled back to the hills alone.”

Jesus comes and gives what we are waiting for, raising everyone’s hopeful expectations.His miracles show how much he wants us to be happy, but they especially invite us a conversion, to dare to take steps forward, returning to the source of all happiness. Jesus wishes that we desire the sovereign Good, God Himself. He alone can fulfil our desire to love and to be loved. Jesus shows us the way : “my food is to do the Will of my Father”. The life he gives us is eternal life; the healing he obtains is eternal salvation, and the Bread he nourishes us with is Himself.This bread will only nourish us completely and spiritually providing we offer up ourselves. We can enter into the Tenderness of God and faithfully follow the call we have received. God is the master of the impossible, but he wants mankind to co operate with him in his work, in patience and in gentleness. By our work, we are at the service of our brothers, a humanity that places all its powers of intelligence and love to the service of hunger in the world. With our work, God will give an unbelievable over abundance. The Eucharist is announced, it is the marvel of the transformation of the world.

We ask for the grace to co operate in the work of God and to enter into Jesus’ attitude of contemplation.