July 25, 2021
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 110

2 Kings 4:42-44
Psalm 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18
Ephesians 4:1-6
John 6:1-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying As We Age

In today’s Gospel reading from John about the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus was acutely aware that the crowd gathered to hear him speak needed to be fed. He even tested Philip, asking him where they might buy enough food to feed everyone. And then Andrew proffered, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

We all know how the story ends. “And indeed it came to pass as there was more food in the baskets in the end than before they started passing them through the crowd.” But how was that possible? Was the endless multiplication of the fish and five barley loaves the only miracle on the hillside that day, or was there another miracle?

John does not tell us what Jesus’ sermon was about that day, but one might be safe in assuming “love” and “respect and concern for each other” – two constants in the message of the Gospels – may well have been the theme of his talk.

Close your eyes and consider this: After the multitude heard such a message, and as the baskets of loaves and fish were being passed, could those who were wise enough to have brought some food with them been so moved by Jesus’ message of love and compassion that they decided that in addition to taking a little out of the basket, they would also put a little bit back into the basket, so those less fortunate could have something to eat? If true, then that, too, was a miracle. Perhaps rather than creating an endless supply of bread and fish, Jesus taught the assembled multitude to love and to have faith in each other, and convinced them that even if they shared what meager food they had, their own needs would still be met.

The same message Jesus gave to the multitude that day, about generosity and giving without counting the cost (as I have imagined today in my reflection), is one we hear today. But are we listening? Are we willing to share what we have with the poor and needy, or do we think that one person will miraculously appear and satisfy the needs of those less fortunate? Are we willing to help fill the baskets of the food pantry when called upon or share our earnings when the basket is passed in church?

Just think what a miracle it would be if we, like the masses assembled on the hillside, put in a little bit more then we took out, gave a little bit more of ourselves to those we love than we expected in return. Isn’t that what we as Christians are called to do?

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook