Faith Daily | 16 April 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER TWO
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life
of all who put their trust in him:
raise us, we pray, from the death of sin
to the life of righteousness;
that we may ever seek the things which are above,
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 6: 1-15
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Cathy Grant
Chapter 6 of John’s gospel is dominated by the theme of Passover and “the bread of heaven,” building throughout the chapter to point to the final Passover, the last supper and Jesus’ death and resurrection.
In this story Jesus provides food for a large crowd out in a wilderness away from towns where food could be bought. It is set at the time of the Passover and in its telling John evidently wants to remind us of God feeding Israel during their wilderness wanderings with manna from heaven - the generosity of God always providing for his people.
As the time for the Passover meal drew near, the disciples did not know what to do to provide for so many and turned to Jesus for help and guidance, the starting point for Jesus to act.
As he does on the night of that final Passover before his death, Jesus takes bread, gives thanks and shares it with those assembled – foreshadowing the Last Supper and Jesus’ life giving eucharistic sharing of himself for us.
The initial offering Jesus has to work with is small - just five loaves of bread and two fish. However, Jesus creates abundance from this little, “as much as they wanted” with 12 baskets of leftovers.
Like those early disciples, so often we do not know what to do. We feel as though we have little. This story reminds us that we can always have faith that Jesus will take our little and do something we hadn’t thought of, something new and creative, something generous, generative and full of abundance. May we have the courage to give him the little we have and trust in his generosity to care for all our needs.
FINAL PRAYER: David Adam “Clouds and Glory”
Lord, you are the bread of heaven,
giving life to the world.
You fill our emptiness with your goodness.
You come to our weakness with your strength.
Come, refresh, renew, restore us,
Jesus, Christ of the world.