Open your hands, Lord; make us happy with all that You give us.

17th Sunday of the Year - B

Kings 4: 42-44; Psalm 144; Ephes. 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15

Read: Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching him and said to Philip: “Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?” He said this only to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered: “Two hundred denari would only be enough to give them a small piece each”. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said: ”There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two small fish; but what is that between so many?” Jesus said to them: “Make the people sit down”.

There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were already sitting; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as each wanted. When they had eaten enough, he said to his disciples: “Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted”. So, they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves.

Reflect: From all the signs made by Jesus, none was related as often as that of the miracle of the bread. All the Evangelists recounted this happening. But it is only the Evangelist St. John who mentions the young boy who had “five barley loaves and two small fish”. This young boy was prepared to share the little food he had, including “the barley loaves” which typically was the type of bread eaten by the poor. The young boy is the model of how a disciple of Jesus should be, a Christian: “In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

The poor youth is an example of the disciple who is called to share all that he has with his brethren, even if this is not much. The generosity of this youth was the key that made possible the miracle of the sharing of bread. The disciple discards his egoism, by overcoming his strong desire for money and other good things that “is the root of all evil” (1Timothy 6:10). He welcomes the logic of the Kingdom of God and shares with his brethren all that he has, and that is where a miracle takes place; everybody ate sufficiently and even more was left. That is how the disciple, you and I, participate in the plan of God who wants to execute his providence through us.

Pray: Open your hands, Lord; make us happy with all that You give us.

Act:  Let us play our small part for the good of others as regards our presence; contributions; participation in organisations. The rest we should leave for God to provide

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