Our big sin
The story of the multiplication of the loaves enjoyed great popularity among Jesus’ followers. All the evangelists remember it. Surely it touched them to think that this man of God had concerned himself with feeding a crowd that was left without what they needed to eat.
According to John’s version, Jesus himself is the first one to think of the hunger of that crowd that has come to listen to him. These people need to eat; something has to done for them. That was how Jesus was. He spent his life thinking about human beings’ basic needs.
Philip lets him see that they have no money. They are all poor, all those in the group of disciples: they cannot buy bread for so many people. Jesus knows it. Those who have money will never solve the problem of hunger in the world. You need something more than money.
Jesus is going to help them catch a glimpse of a different way. First of all, it is necessary that no one hoards what is his if others are hungry. His disciples have to learn to put what they have at the disposal of those who are hungry, even though they may only have five barley loaves and two fish.
Jesus’ attitude is the simplest and the most human that we can imagine. But who is going to teach us to share, if we only know how to buy? Who is going to free us from our indifference in the face of those who die of hunger? Is there something that can make us more human? Will this “miracle” of real solidarity among all turn up someday?
Jesus thinks of God. It is not possible to believe in God as Father of all, and then go about life letting his sons and daughters die of hunger. That is why he takes the food that has been collected from those gathered, he looks up to heaven and gives thanks. The Earth and everything that feeds us come to us from God. It is a gift from the Father and it is meant for all his sons and daughters. If we go about life depriving others of what they need to live, it is because we have forgotten this. It is our big sin, although we may not confess it ever.
When they shared the bread of the Eucharist, the first Christians felt nourished by the risen Christ, but at the same time they remembered Jesus’ gesture and they shared their goods with those most in need. They felt that they were brothers and sisters. They had not yet forgotten Jesus’ Spirit.
July 26, 2015
17 Ordinary Time (B)
John 6, 1-15