After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberius Sea). A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.
Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples,“Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.
When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.”
A very familiar story. Even in children’s Bible story books, there’s always a story about Jesus feeding a lot of people. And I think it’s appropriate. One of the points of the Realm of G_d is the fact that we are all family. Everyone in this story - children, women, men - “had plenty to eat.” No one was left hungry. Food was freely given to everyone. There wasn’t a charge. No one passed a “collection plate” afterwards. No one had to go through any type of screening. No one was accused of “milking the system.” Everyone was fed.
This tells us quite a lot about how we should be engaging in our efforts to spread G_d’s Realm within our world. It tells us about giving. Giving our all - everything we have - to help further the Realm of G_d. And knowing that when we do, “nothing will be wasted.” We may not see the immediate results, but we can be sure that G_d will use our efforts and multiply them for the benefit of others.
It also tells us that G_d’s Realm is for everyone. No one owns the rights to it. No one owns it. It’s G_d’s and G_d shares it with all of us - the just and the unjust. Likewise, we, too, should not show partiality. We should offer our time, talents, and treasure for everyone. Because everyone is our brother and sister.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC