John 6, 1-15
Sunday, 25th July 2021 (17 O.T. B)
This Sunday the Word of God reminds us of the sign of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. This episode is recorded by the four evangelists, which gives us an idea of how important it was in the first Christian communities. St John does not call it a “miracle”, but a “sign”, thus inviting us to discover a deeper meaning from the point of view of faith.
It is Jesus who takes the initiative before a faithful and needy crowd. It was close to the feast of the Passover. An unknown boy brings some loaves and fishes. It is a spring day, by the lake, sitting on the grass and sharing a “free” meal, a simple fisherman’s meal. A fraternal meal served by Jesus thanks to the generous gesture of a young man. There were many of them, but they all ate their fill, and there was even enough left over. A miracle.
The memory of this sign became for the first Christians the symbol of a meal that came from Jesus and that would give rise to a new fraternal and supportive humanity. It was also a reminder of the Eucharist that they celebrated on the Lord’s Day, the Living Bread come down from heaven. It was Jesus himself who gave himself as food.
In the Eucharist that we celebrate, what are our wishes for all those who share the same faith? What can I bring? Justice, peace, accompaniment, solidarity, love…? In our Eucharist, may we appreciate more the gift of Christ, who gives himself to us as Word and Bread of Life, and may it be a call to our own self-giving.
Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf