Faith Daily | 29 April 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 505
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: Hilary Bell
For people in Biblical times, bread was a food staple. Today bread remains a staple in many countries around the globe.
In this account crowds of followers are miraculously fed by Jesus, a sign of His divinity. Jesus recognizes their physical hunger but even more their need for spiritual food and healing.
For Christians, bread is central to the Sacrament of Holy Communion “the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”. In commemorating and sharing the Last Supper, we are fed, strengthened and renewed spiritually, to be sent out. The miracle and the mystery continue.
I am drawn to specific aspects of this account. What seems to be a very meagre amount, a boy’s lunch of small barley loaves, the bread of the poor, when given, broken and shared, becomes more than enough for about five thousand to eat their fill with basketfuls left over. God is more than generous! Then Jesus commands: “gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted”. Bread, generosity, sharing, not wasting. “In Australia 7.6 million tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year. While 70% of this food is still edible, 1 in 6 Australian adults haven’t had enough to eat in the last year; 1.2 million children have gone hungry. Australian households throw away one in five bags of groceries. Globally over 800 million people were affected by hunger in 2020. Nearly one in three people in the world did not have access to adequate food in 2020. While worldwide hunger continues to rise, an estimated one third of food produced is lost or wasted. To put it simply, there is enough food on the planet to feed everyone.” *
We understand that with climate change, natural disasters, pandemics and war, food prices rise and more people will go hungry. Inequality increases. How do I reconcile these facts with what I read in John’s gospel? Can I ever be generous enough? What more do I have to offer and to share, to allow God to use? Am I wasteful, not just of food, but of the resources at my disposal? * source Foodbank Australia 2022”
FINAL PRAYER [adapted from Carol Owens]
“God gives us life in Jesus ‘name He lives in us in Jesus’ name And in Jesus name I come to you To share his love as he told me to. He said ‘Freely, freely you have received; Freely, freely give.
Go in My name and because you believe,
Other will know that I live. Go in my name, and because you believe Others will know that I live.”