Feeding Five Thousand
Aug 8, 2018
In today’s Gospel reading the crowd gathers around Jesus because he gave them a sign by feeding the five thousand gathered with five barley loaves and a few fish. They saw the disciples gather 12 baskets of leftovers from this meal. The sign was about how abundant God is, but this crowd missed that sign and instead interpreted it as an indication that Jesus was the prophet that Moses promised would come to them. Jesus has not come as a prophet who spoke for God, but instead reveals that he is God and just as God fed the people manna so Jesus could provide food for them. But his food is very different from the manna that their ancestors ate. They ate it and still died, but the “bread” he will give them is his very flesh and blood. If they eat this food they would never die.
This is the foundation on which all of Christianity stands -the promise of eternal life. Every time we gather and eat his body and drink his blood the promise of eternal life is renewed for us. We eat his body and blood,soul and Divinty. It is a way in which God lives in us and we live in Him.
Most of the gathered crowd is going to miss the sign. They see Jesus in the flesh and they consider him to be equal to them. Even as Jesus is giving divine signs such as healing the ill, forgiving sins, ridding the possessed of their demons most of the leadership is going to say: “we know who he is and where he came from. We know his family and relatives. He is no different than us.” But a few, our faith ancestors, were willing to see the signs for what they were and they embraced the reality that Jesus is the Son of the Living God.
Even today there are some who come to church thinking it is a social occasion or a regular ritual but they also will not take the most important step to actually accept the same reality that those few accepted as Jesus promised his very self to them.