From a Creighton Student's Perspective
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
April 24th, 2009
Junior; Justice and Socity Major
Food is a uniting necessity of all of humanity. Some eat healthily, others have a diet of fast food; some eat meat, others don’t; some have three substantive meals each day, others have a single meal of dirt and oil cookies. Regardless of how one eats or what one eats, every person is united in the ever present need to sustain our lives. However, as is evidenced by the disparity in food quality and quantity that exists in the world, not everyone has the same relationship to food. According to Bread for the World, about 16,000 children die every day from hunger related causes. This is occurring while hotdog eating contests receive hours and pages of media attention.
While some people see food as a common part of daily life, others view food as a rare luxury to be treasured. One of Jesus’ most notable miracles – the multiplication of the loaves and fishes – is centered on the hunger of the crowd. The hungry people of the world must perceive this nearly ubiquitously known miracle very differently than the satisfied people of the world.
From the perspective of the satisfied: You and your family have a wonderful evening ahead of you – dinner at a great restaurant downtown and then going to hear Jesus speak out on the hillside. After a great dinner, you walk up the hill to hear Jesus preach. However, upon arriving, you see a boy giving some baskets of bread and fish to Jesus and the apostles begin to distribute it. To your amazement, there are nearly endless amounts of food. You become angry at the fact that you did not know that there was going to be food at tonight’s preaching. When the basket comes to you, you say “thanks for letting us know that there would be food” and take several loaves and a couple fish for your family, even though you have just eaten a very large meal. Jesus gives a very profound talk but you remain irked by the fact that you were not told that food would be served this evening.
From the perspective of the hungry: As you walk up the hill to hear Jesus preaching, you hear some others talking about the meal that was served last week. You have not had a satisfying meal in several days and the rumors of a meal being served is encouraging – the prospect of several chunks of bread for you and your family is as encouraging as the words that Jesus is sharing with you this afternoon. Additionally, if there is no food, Jesus’ preaching may allow your thoughts to drift away from your intense hunger. You patiently sit and wait for Jesus to begin his ministry, when you see a wealthy boy walk up to Jesus and ask him to bless several baskets of food that his family will be eating for lunch. To your amazement, you see the apostles beginning to take these baskets around to those that are gathered. Jesus has multiplied the food so that all – so that you – may share in the meal! When the basket arrives in front of you, you are hesitant and humiliated to take a handout from the apostle. However, he insists that you take some and you are honored to take part in the miracle of Jesus. You take a loaf of bread and a fish – the largest meal that your family will have eaten in several months.
The colloquial nature of today’s gospel should not discourage us from considering how the poor and the hungry today would see this gospel reading. More importantly, the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes should inspire our actions to address world food issues because of our common need for food and for Jesus Christ.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail
Go To The ONLINE MINISTRIES Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook