A reflection on John 6:3-15
Jesus feeds the crowd of 5000.
Five thousand. So many people.
Jesus saw the crowd coming and asked Philip where enough food could be purchased for them. Philip, of course, was incredulous. Not only was there no market nearby, but who had enough money to feed five thousand people? The only food to be had was the five loaves and two fishes of one little boy.
The people simply came to be with Jesus, to hear him speak, to gain comfort and healing.
They were not thinking about food.
He anticipated their need. He knew they would be hungry, and he provided for them. He had them recline. How can one recline and not be relaxed? The people reclined, and Jesus gave them “as much as they wanted.” Not just a snack, a few bites each, but as much as they wanted. His providence and generosity is astounding!
After the people, the five thousand people, had eaten their fill of the five loaves and two fish, the disciples gathered the leftovers.
Twelve baskets worth of leftovers.
Jesus anticipated their needs, provided them generously, and there were leftovers!
This is the only miracle story that appears in all four Gospels. In Mark and Matthew it even occurs twice! I think this is God’s way of telling us not to worry. He’s got this.
He has proven over and over to be generous. When I reflect on my life, on the times when I have felt things were tight, when I was worried I wouldn’t have enough, somehow, there was always enough. Always extra. Not only were my needs met, but even some of my wants.
So often however, I forget to see the forest for the trees.
I get so caught up in what I don’t have, or what I will need in the future and don’t see a way of getting, that I forget how generous God is with me. I worry.
Jesus had the people recline. They were relaxed, not worried. They were with Jesus, after all! ( A reminder of adoration. Time spent in front of the tabernacle. With Jesus. Relaxed.)
Then he took the bread and broke it.
Just like he did at the Last Supper. Just like he did at Emmaus.
He was anticipating his final gift to us. The Eucharist. Himself. Emmanuel. God with us. His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The spiritual bread, with which we will never hunger again.
He broke the bread and gave thanks.
Again, Eucharist. Greek for Thanksgiving. For the Bread of Life. Jesus gave thanks and the bread multiplied. The people ate abundantly.
They were full, and there were leftovers. All from only five loaves of bread and two fish.
I often feel that my resources are too few for the tasks in front of me. But like the little boy, I need to trust. I need to take the little I have and give thanks for it. I need to offer it to Jesus. Jesus can take my little bit and transform it into enough.
He wants to bless me abundantly. He wants to bless you abundantly. Relax. Give it all to him. He’s got this.