Floor mosaic—5th Century, Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, Israel.
(Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons.)

Megan Marley

Everybody’s got to eat.

I don’t know about you, but if I skip meals and rely on coffee to keep me running, my stomach does a great whale impression. Going a couple days on little food, I get tired, cranky and have difficulty thinking, wishing again that cup of pinto beans seasoned with a red pepper packet scavenged from a pizza joint was a thick, juicy steak and a glorious mountain of fresh green beans and mashed potatoes. I eat better now, much more fortunately than some.

Hunger is a driving, visceral basic need that can blur our vision of greater things.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus feeds not just one person but thousands, with a boy’s gift of five barley loaves and two fish. The miracle is foreshadowed in the first reading from 2nd Kings, where the prophet Elijah multiplies a gift of 20 loaves of barley bread for 100 people.

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is found in all four Gospels. In the Gospel of John, the miracle is one of seven signs Jesus performs, expressing who he really is and fulfilling prophecies, building up to his Hour when the signs give way to the explicit reality stated in the upper room and on the Cross.

After all had eaten their fill, the crowd saw the disciples collect twelve baskets of leftover bread. Such a great miracle, they thought Jesus must be the Prophet returned and wanted to carry him off to make him king! But he withdrew from them to the mountain alone.

In their earthly hunger, they’d be missing the point.

He had come to feed them, yes. He fulfilled the prophecies, yes. But were they able to see why? Jesus is building up to a deeper revelation we’ll hear about in next Sunday’s Gospel: He is the Bread of Life.

He wants to feed them with not mere bread, but his own Flesh and Blood, intimately uniting them to his divine Self as no Old Testament covenant had, bringing redemption and making the promise of eternal life and resurrection. It’s not just physical needs God wants to satisfy.

So, how do you hunger?

Daily Scripture Readings

For complete daily Scripture texts, click here:

Monday, July 30
Jeremiah 13:1-11
Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
Matthew 13:31-35

Tuesday, July 31
Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalms 79:8, 9, 11 & 13
Matthew 13:36-43

Wednesday, August 1
Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
Matthew 13:44-46

Thursday, August 2
Jeremiah 18:1-6
Psalms 146:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab
Matthew 13:47-53

Friday, August 3
Jeremiah 26:1-9
Psalms 69:5, 8-10, 14
Matthew 13:54-58

Saturday, August 4
Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalms 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

Eighteenth Sunday in
Ordinary Time, August 5
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalms 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35

Monday, August 6
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
2 Peter 1:16-19
Mark 9:2-10

Tuesday, August 7
Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
Psalms 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 & 22-23
Matthew 14:22-36
Or Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

Wednesday, August 8
Jeremiah 31:1-7
Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12ab, 13
Matthew 15: 21-28

Thursday, August 9
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
Matthew 16:13-23

Friday, August 10
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalms 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
John 12:24-26

Saturday, August 11
Habakkuk 1:12—2:4
Psalms 9:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Matthew 17:14-20

Nineteenth Sunday in
Ordinary Time, August 12
1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 4:30—5:2
John 6:41-51


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December 02, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph