17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B
Jesus was the not the first person in the bible to multiply loaves of bread. Over 700 years before Jesus, a prophet named Elisha did it on a much smaller scale. He performed this feat for a group of 100 monks. They were starving because of a famine. Elisha had been given 20 small loaves, probably similar to modern Pita or Syrian pocket bread. He accomplished this action along with other miracles mentioned that foreshadow Jesus' miracles.
How did Jesus multiply the loaves and fish?
One of the most spectacular of Jesus' miracles was his feeding of a huge crowd with a tiny amount of food. Actually he did it twice–once in Israel and again in Syria. How did he do it?
There are two possible ways, both of which are miracles. Because he is God, he could have made the food appear out of nowhere. It could've grown miraculously as each bit was broken off.
But there is another way. Picture the scene: a crowd has come to Jesus from all over the Middle East. Most are very poor, but some are rich. The poorest have little food; the wealthy have plenty.
Jesus has been preaching about love and sharing. Now he begins walking around and sharing his meager meal. The rich see his example and decide to pitch in. They have so much that there's enough for all, with plenty left over.
You say, "That's not a miracle; the food was already there!" Well, what's a greater miracle: making food appear or making love appear?
Lesson: no one in the world would ever have to starve if we all shared.
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