he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
In a land of abundance, it may not be fully possible to comprehend the meanings of much of the New Testament. Jesus’ feeding of crowds, the early fellowship meals, Paul’s admonitions to make sure everyone has a share in the communal meal: they read differently if you have never known hunger.
A radical sense of community is implied by an equitable sharing of resources in a time of scarcity. But that’s not what the readings are about this weekend. They’re not about how our responsibility to each other and our kinship under God demand generosity and care for the other, though that’s a lesson most of us would do well to be reminded of. They’re about miracles.
It was a miracle that Jesus fed the multitudes. It is a miracle that Jesus continues to feed us as often as we ask through the Eucharist. It is a miracle that Christ is truly present. It is a miracle that humans can call him to be among us.
Even those of us who have plenty to eat, those of us who do not suffer physical hunger, know hunger in some form or another. I pray that our communities, our faith, and our God can feed that hunger in whatever way is necessary. I pray that we can feed each other and that we can have the grace to receive. Have a blessed Feast.
What are you hungry for? What feeds you?
Mark Allman says
I think deep meaningful relationships are what I hunger for and am feed by.
Communion – though not the Holy version. I have a need for it, I suppose, but not the intense desire for the communion of experiencing something, a moment, an event, with other people. Because it’s that mundane communion that lets me see God. I am sated when I participate in really good theatre.