“Food glorious food … food, marvelous food, glorious food nothing but food…” so goes the song from the musical Oliver. In today’s Gospel we hear one of the famous “feeding the multitudes” stories. Again this is a story about providence. Two weeks ago we read about the disciples going out two by two and they were to rely on providence not themselves. Last week Jesus provides a retreat for them and then he has to provide solace for the crowds. Today the feeding story can be read and understood from several standpoints. There is the Eucharist view of Jesus taking, blessing, breaking and sharing the loaves and fishes. It can also be seen as a power over nature miracle revealing Jesus’ authority over creation.
Yet another view, would be to contemplate it as a miracle story of providence. Philip suggests that to feed the crowd would be very expensive. Andrew is a bit more practical and found a boy with loaves and fishes but it is not enough. Part of this miracle story, in the build-up, illustrates that we cannot really provide for the Kingdom from our own resources; we have some but we don’t have enough, so we must rely upon the Lord to provide. This takes faith and in this story, as so often happens when we truly rely on God’s providence, He gives it in abundance.
Food is central to our lives and to our life of faith. We all come to Church to be fed by the Word and the Sacrament. It is a fellowship meal in which we tell the story of our faith as a community and then celebrate that sacrificial moment when God gave himself to us in his own body and blood to redeem us and save us from sin. Like all good family gatherings, it should be filled with joy, friendship, tradition, and full participation.
Please pray for two sets of Pilgrims
This week, our own pilgrimage from SLdM to San Lorenzo Franciscan Seminary starts on Friday. You can still sign up and join in for all or part of it, see the office or website for details. It is a very powerful fellowship and spiritual experience and great fun, yet also challenging as all pilgrimages should be.
27 of our youth and youth team are going over the weekend to LA for the City of Angels Youth-gather with Archbishop Jose. This has grown into an important witness event for the young of our Church in the diocese. It’s great that we have so many younger members of our parish going.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter