"The Feeding of the Multitudes"

The only miracle of Jesus in all four Gospels is the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, and Mark and Matthew even include the feeding of the 4,000 as well as the feeding of the 5,000. While Jesus multiplies the loaves and the fishes, his disciples are charged with distributing them to those who are hungry. They also gather up the fragments, so that nothing should be wasted.

In feeding the hungry of the world, God provides bounty beyond imagination, but he also invites us into partnership. In John 6, a young boy plays a role in the feeding; he offers his lunch for the Lord transform and multiply in meeting the world's needs. Can we do any less? The Bible speaks of sins of commission and omission, and these black and white bars are featured in this striking painting in The Saint John's Bible.

As people around the world follow Jesus' lead in praying for their daily bread, can his followers play a role in those prayers being answered? If the earth could grow enough food to feed the world, can Jesus' followers find a way to distribute it so that today's multitudes are also fed? The Gospels compel such a Mission of Love--the theme of Pope Francis' visit to America--and they also inspire its fulfillment.


(Multiplication of The Loaves and Fishes, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John's Bible, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Note the reflection on The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes by Bailey Walter: http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/promotions/lp/itm/PDFs/Loaves.pdf.)