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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jesus takes the little that is offered to him in today’s Gospel; he gives thanks to God and feeds five thousand people.  This is the only miracle story that is told in all four of the Gospels.  A miracle in St. John’s Gospel is a “sign.” It points to something beyond itself, to the identity and truth of Jesus.  St. John is concerned with how people are responding to Jesus.  Notice that those who follow Jesus are enthusiastic about his healings; they hope to get something out of following him. 

Jesus asks Philip where they can buy food for the people.  Philip responds in a very practical way.  It would cost one half an annual salary to feed the people.  Andrew tells the Lord that there is a young boy who has two dried fish and five barley loaves.  Jesus takes what is given and offers thanks to God.  He asks that the food be distributed.  Jesus makes sure that the fragments leftover are collected.  The crowd reacts and would like to make him king, but he slips away. 

When we gather for the Eucharist, we bring what we have.  We bring all the moments of our lives, our inadequacies, our successes, our failures, our hopes, and our fears.  We bring them to a loving God – the fruits of earth, the work of our human hands and these small gifts are transformed and offered back to us as the sacramental Body and Blood of Jesus.  This is thanksgiving for God’s eternal generosity. 

What does the feeding of five thousand reveal to you about who Jesus is? 

A special thank you to all those who participated in the Lourdes Summer Celebration.  We are especially grateful to those who took care to put this event together.

Have a blessed week!  Fr. Len

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