Gospel – John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves
that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
The first reading and Gospel present well-meaning people starting with, “What “I” have is plenty, but I do not have enough for others, so why should I bother?” Making one step of sacrifice, or sharing, easily slips into the perception of “I must take and assure all the steps.” How arrogant to think all depends on one single person. Thus, an attitude of deficiency reigns.

The words of the second reading challenge and change the paradigm from deficiency toward abundance. “Living with humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another through love, so to strive to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace!” Wow, how wonderful would a family, a neighborhood, or any community be if “living in a manner worthy of the call received as human beings?”

I often point out that absolutely no one does it alone, nor does all depend on one person. Human beings rely on other individuals and groups of individuals to survive and thrive. Yet, so often societies at all its levels, including families and neighborhoods live unlike the reality that humanity requires.

Jesus set into motion the changed paradigm. If everyone gave, sacrificed, or shared just a little bit out of humility so to bear with my hungry brother or sister as I am hungry, my empathetic, patient bearing with my neighbor might forge a mutually connecting bond. This bond might lead to a peaceful coexistence because my neighbor felt heard, understood, appreciated, respected, and valued to the point that my offered little bit motivates my neighbor to share a little bit. Eventually, the little bits of everyone sharing, contributes to addressing what everyone needs. Is not this our best response to our call as human beings as the human community?

Brother Brian Henderson, FSC
Jeremy House – Accompaniment of Young Lasallian Professionals

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.