Jesus miraculously Feeds the 5000. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can perceive and receive Christ’s actual Body and Blood in the Eucharist and by growing in the Virtue of Faith so he can always trust that Jesus can do the miraculous. 

Liturgy

18th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 14:13-21

Commentary

Jesus travels across the Sea of Galilee to a deserted place to mourn John the Baptist’s murder and He is followed by a large crowd on foot, who travel along the shore. Though He desires to be with the Father in solitude, Jesus has a deep visceral reaction to the multitude of desperate people who seek Him, and He heals the sick.  

As the hour draws late and the people are hungry, the Apostles suggest that Jesus send the people home; it does not even occur to the Apostles that Jesus could feed the multitude. Christ’s history-changing action by Feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle of Jesus’ earthly ministry recorded in all four Gospels. The 5000 number refers to only the men; when women and children are included, the count of those fed is much higher. 

While the miracle of immediately creating a massive amount of food to feed thousands astounds, Jesus’ action is much greater than simple feeding. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Jesus previews the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the breaking of the bread, just as He will do at the Last Supper. He draws the 12 Apostles to Himself and allows them to mediate His Grace to mankind as they distribute the bread and fish to the multitude; as priests after Jesus’ Ascension, the Apostles and their successors will feed billions of people with the Bread of Life in the Eucharist at every Mass. Jesus sears the miracle into the minds of the 12 Apostles when He requires each of them to personally fill a basket with the leftovers and they collect up more remains than they had at the beginning; the 5 loaves and 2 fish were miraculously multiplied to feed the multitude and now had grown to fill 12 baskets. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus in the Feeding of the 5000: Divine King, Jesus acts to definitively reveal His Divinity to, and train, the 12 Apostles, instructing them to find the inadequate resources, distribute the miraculous food and collect up 12 baskets, one for each Apostle; He uses Divine Power to create huge amounts of food; Divine Priest, Jesus prefigures the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. 

Perceive and receive the Christ’s actual Body and Blood

Realize: As the Son of God, everything Jesus does fulfills a divine purpose which He accomplishes across the ages; His careful planning for, and revelation of, the Sacrament of the Eucharist across Salvation History is but one example. 

Believe: Marvel at how Jesus set the foundation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Signs of the Bread and Wine (CCC 1333-1336).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I have Your help to recognize, and be awed by, and gratefully receive Jesus’ actual Body and Blood in the miraculous gift of the Eucharist.

Have faith that Jesus can do the miraculous

Realize: While those who have not been received into the faith ignore or are blind to the miracles of Jesus, even a Catholic man can forget or fail to perceive Jesus’ miraculous power; even the Apostles, who were with Jesus and witnessed many miracles, were continually astounded by the miracles of Jesus. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Miracles of Jesus (CCC 156, 515, 547-550).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Power, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I vehemently believe in the reality of Your many miracles and I am moved to ask You to do miraculous things in the world today, if it be in accordance with Your Will; Lord, help my unbelief.