Jesus miraculously Feeds the 5000 by the Sea of Galilee. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Courage so he can face tests and trials in Christ and by seeking the Virtue of Faith so he can always trust and rely on the Lord’s help in all things. 

Liturgy

2nd Week of Easter – Friday – Jn 6:1-15

Commentary

Jesus withdrew by boat across the Sea of Galilee to a deserted place to mourn John the Baptist’s murder (Mt 14:1-12), and He was followed by a large crowd, who rushed by foot along the banks of the sea. Though He desired to be with God the Father in solitude, Jesus was moved by the large hungry crowd that walked long distances to be near Him. Jesus’ history-changing action by The Feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle of His earthly ministry recorded in all four Gospels; when women and children are included, the count of those fed is much higher.

While the miracle of feeding thousands of people astounds, Jesus’ action goes far beyond simply feeding hungry people. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Jesus previews the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday when He blesses and distributes bread to the 5000. Preparing His Apostles to be leaders of His Church, Jesus tests and forms them, revealing their own inadequacy, and their dependence on God.  

Failing Jesus’ test (“How are we to buy bread…”), Philip and Andrew do not look to Jesus to provide, but focus on lack of money and food. At that, Jesus draws the 12 Apostles to Himself and takes charge. After commanding the Apostles to organize the crowd in preparation for a meal, Jesus gives thanks for the bread, a prefigurement of the Eucharist. He directs the Apostles to distribute the bread and fish, allowing them to mediate His Grace to mankind as they distribute the bread to the multitude, a prefigurement of the Apostles’ ordination as priests. Jesus sears the astounding proof of the miracle into the minds of the 12 Apostles, commanding each of them to fill a basket with the leftovers; each Apostle had more bread and fish in his basket than there was before the miracle. Jesus rejects the grateful crowd’s attempt to make Him a political king.

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 form, the 12 Apostles, instructing them to collect the inadequate bread and fish, distribute the miraculously multiplied 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. 

Courageously face tests and trials in Christ

Realize: Just as Jesus tests His Apostles, so too does Jesus test every Catholic man through the many opportunities, tests and trials in the Spiritual Combat of life so a man can grow in holiness. 

Believe: Renew your understanding of How men are Tested (CCC 901, 1808, 1820, 2847).

Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me grow in the heroic Virtue of Courage (a part of Fortitude) so I can courageously withstand the unavoidable tests which I must pass through as I persevere in my great pilgrimage of Catholic manhood to sainthood and Heaven.

Grow in Faith and trust in the Lord’s help in all things

Realize: When Jesus tests the Apostles at The Feeding of the 5000, they fail to look to Jesus to provide for their needs and the needs of the thousands of hungry men who are with them in the wilderness. 

Believe: Reflect upon the importance of Trusting in God (CCC 215, 304, 2086, 2828, 2861).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I can always believe and rely on Your Son to provide for all my needs and to completely trust my Lord Jesus in all things.