Multiplication of the loaves
Friday, April 13, 2018
2nd Week of Easter
Gospel: John 6:1-15
(…) When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[ to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. (..)
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus was only asking about the place where they could buy bread, and Philip already rattled off his fears about finances. In another Gospel account we are told that the disciples had suggested to Jesus to send the people away so they could buy for themselves their own food (Mark 6:36). Jesus did not approve this quick fix solution. He reminded them that it was their responsibility to feed the people.
Apropos of this quick fix mentality of the disciples is the mediocre attitude of people today towards marital challenges. The likes of Phillip today advocate the quick fix solution of divorce to make marriages more convenient. But in the process they rip off the last shield of protection to the integrity of the family.
Today’s Gospel tells us that everyone had eaten and there were still leftovers. The leftovers gathered after everyone had eaten show us the difference between solutions that disregard morals and solutions that uphold spiritual values even though upholding them may not be the practical thing to do. With the latter, God comes in to manifest his power to save.
If the likes of Phillip can let go for a while the option for the quick fix solution to marital relationship problems, they might come across some five barley loaves and two fish that God can bless so they won’t have to go for the immoral option of legislating divorce in violation of Jesus’ clear mandate that no one should put asunder what God has joined in marriage. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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