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

Liturgy

Christmastime – Tuesday after Epiphany or January 8 – Mk 6:34-44

Commentary

Jesus withdraws by boat across the Sea of Galilee to a deserted place to mourn John the Baptist’s murder, and give the Apostles needed rest, but large desperate crowds follow Him on foot. Though He desires to be with the Father in solitude, Jesus has a deep visceral reaction to the sight of the desperate masses, and, filled with compassion, He works tirelessly to cure the sick.  

As the long grueling day ends, the people are hungry. The Apostles have compassion for the suffering masses and suggest that Jesus send them home; unsurprisingly, it does not occur to the Apostles that Jesus could miraculously feed the multitude. Jesus’ history-changing action of the Feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle of Jesus’ earthly ministry recorded in all four Gospels. The miracle, astounding as it is, understates Jesus’ supernatural act: 5000 refers to only the number of men fed, but 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, like all His acts, has a deep and profound purpose beyond the obvious. Jesus is testing the Apostles, revealing their own inadequacy to themselves, and preparing them to be leaders of His Holy Catholic Church. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Jesus previews the Liturgy 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 to the multitude; as Catholic priests after Jesus’ Resurrection, 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 by requiring each of them to personally fill a basket with the leftovers, confirming to each there was miraculously more food at the end than at the beginning. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the perfection of Virtue (from the Latin, vir, meaning “man” or “hero”), the good habits which help men to more easily serve God in their thoughts and acts. Aspire to imitate the beautiful Empathy and Compassion of Jesus, which, when combined with the greatest virtue of Charity, leads to definitive acts of love (Feeding the Hungry, a Corporal Work of Mercy).

Perceive and receive the True Presence

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: Reflect upon the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Signs of the Bread and Wine (CCC 1333-1336).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so You help me perceive the stunning reality that simple bread and wine is miraculously transubstantiated into the actual Body and Blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at every Mass.

Believe and pray for miracles

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 can confidently and boldly pray for miracles to be done for those in need in accordance with Your will.