Be Generous Share 18th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Be Generous Share 18th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18 Romans 8:35, 37-39 Matthew 14:13-21

Be Generous – Share

            In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus miraculously multiplies five loaves and two fish to feed five over thousand people. So many loaves were miraculously multiplied that the broken pieces of the loaves which were left over filled twelve baskets. The Gospel of John’s account of the multiplication of the loaves explicitly states that the fragments that were left over were “from the five barley loaves (John 6:13 RSVCE)” and not from any other loaves. Clearly, argues Brant Pitre, this means that the multiplication of the loaves is intended by the Gospel writers to be understood as a miracle.[1]

         Is the miraculous element of this account the only essential aspect? The Church Father Saint John Chrysostom did not think so. According to Chrysostom, as cited by Pitre, not only is the account miraculous, but it also contains very important teaching concerning that we are equal in the eyes of God. All equally receive the same food, bread and fish. No one, according to Chrysostom, was given anything other than the bread and fish since “the Lord was teaching humility, self-control, and love.”[2] Jesus taught self-control, humility and love by telling his disciples to generously share their food which then miraculously multiplied.

         In sharing the loaves and fishes the relation between the disciples and the crowd of people was changed. Before sharing their food, the disciples viewed the crowd as a threat, as outsiders who were competing for Jesus’ attention. They even told Jesus “to send the crowds away”. In the process of humbly and generously sharing their food, however, the disciples began to recognize the crowd of people not as a crowd of unnamed people, but individuals who all have something and someone in common. The something was the need to eat physical food and the someone was Jesus who offers us himself as the “bread of life.” 

         The disciples’ generous sharing of the miraculously multiplied loaves was Jesus’ way to touch, heal, sanctify not only, “the individual person, but also the social relations” between the individual persons, as the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church instructs.[3]

         In this Mass, Jesus is offering to touch, heal, and sanctify us in the miraculous manner of receiving Jesus’ risen presence in the Holy Eucharist. In receiving the Eucharist, we, like the crowd, are called to become united with one another where each one sees the other as an extension of themselves since we all by Baptism and the reception of the Eucharist are to become one body in the Lord Jesus, one body who breathes by the breath of the Holy Spirit, one body who loves through the heart of Jesus Christ, and one body who thinks with the mind of Jesus.

God Bless,

Fr Peter

Johann Sebastian Bach, Sheep May Safely Graze, Cantata No. 208, Amsco Publications.

File:BouveretLastSupper.jpg, “The Last Supper has been depicted by many artistic masters.[126] This Last Supper is by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret (1896),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BouveretLastSupper.jpg#filelinks/

Sibeaster / Public domain, “Last Supper, mosaic,” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Last_Supper.jpg

Nheyob, cropped by Tahc / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), “St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Findlay, Ohio Eucharistic stained glass window depicting bread and wine,”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_Michael_the_Archangel,_Findlay,_OH_-_bread_and_wine_crop_1.jpg

Classified by Bing as Public Domain, http://newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com/2011/07/let-priests-bless-bread-multiplication.html.

Classified by Bing as Public Domain, https://paucaverba.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-multiplication-of-loaves-and-fishes.html

Classified by Bing as Public Domain, https://www.panoramio.com

Brant Pitre, “The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A),” catholicproductions.com.Francis, The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations, Volume I (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2016), 137. The quotation is from Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church no. 52


[1] Brant Pitre, “The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A),” catholicproductions.com.

[2] Brant Pitre, “The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A),” catholicproductions.com.

[3] Francis, The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations, Volume I (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2016), 137. The quotation is from Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church no. 52.

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