After reflecting on Baptism that ushers us to life eternal, we now focus on the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, which is presented in chapter six of John. It begins with another “sign”—the multiplication of the loaves and the feeding of five thousand people. Five barley loaves and two fish brought by a boy is just what Jesus needs for the people to have their fill, and they even have 12 wicker baskets extra. The “fragments” (Greek klasma) would later be used for the sacred hosts given in Holy Communion. Jesus is then feeding the hungry crowd with him, but also reserves bread for the future believers who gather for the Eucharist. In fact, “Eucharist” comes from the Greek eucharisteo, “to give thanks.” In the Mass, the priest, in the name of the people of God, takes the bread, gives thanks, blesses it, and distributes it to the people—just like what Jesus did on the mountain.
GOSPEL • JOHN 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.