The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Nothing can satisfy the deepest longing and desire of the heart – except God alone. Do you believe that is true? Of all the miracles Jesus did, the multiplication of loaves and fishes is the only one which is repeated in all four Gospels. A great crowd of people had gathered to hear Jesus because they were hungry for God’s word. Jesus’ disciples had wanted to send the crowd away at the end of the day because they did not have the resources to feed them. They even complained how much money it would take to feed such a large crowd – at least six month’s wages!
Jesus satisfies our hunger – both physically and spiritually
Jesus did the unthinkable. He took the little food they had – only five loaves and two fish – and giving thanks to his Father in heaven, he blessed and distributed this meager portion to the vast crowd. To the amazement of all, there was more than enough food for everyone present. And they ate until there were satisfied of their hunger. The twelve disciples took up what was left over – twelve baskets full of fish and loaves – so that nothing would be wasted.
Jesus is the true bread of heaven – which produces abundant life
What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude pointed to God’s provision of manna in the wilderness for the people of Israel under Moses’ leadership. This food foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers. Jesus makes a claim only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience.
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. In the multiplication of the loaves and fishes we see a sign and a symbol of what God always does. When God gives – he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves so that we may have something to share with others as well, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God’s provision for your life and do you freely share what you have with others, especially those who lack what they need?
“Lord Jesus Christ, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 81:16). Fill me with gratitude for your blessings and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS
“You give them something to eat.” Mark 6:37
“Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God” (1 Jn 4:7). “The man without love has known nothing of God, for God is Love” (1 Jn 4:8). “Beloved, if God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another” (1 Jn 4:11). Jesus said: “This is how all will know you for My disciples: your love for one another” (Jn 13:35). If we have not love, we are nothing (1 Cor 13:2).
Do you love Jesus? Then feed His sheep (Jn 21:17), physically and spiritually. Feed people with God’s Word, for “not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). “Teach them at great length” (Mk 6:34). Proclaim God’s Word “in any and every way” (Phil 1:18), “whether convenient or inconvenient” (2 Tm 4:2). Do your best to feed people with the nourishment of God’s Word. Even if your work seems inadequate, the Lord will multiply it to feed the masses (see Mk 6:41ff).
Christmas is a celebration, a feast. Feed the nourishment of God’s Word to those who are spiritually starving. Give to others the Word of life, the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), the Christ of Christmas.
Prayer: Father, may the Christmas cards, greetings, celebrations, and presents I give to others be spiritually nourishing. Promise: “Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God but that He has loved us and has sent His Son as an Offering for our sins.” 1 Jn 4:10 Praise: St. André, orphaned at the age of twelve, developed a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus. He consistently attributed the many miracles and healings he worked to the intercession of St. Joseph. (For a related teaching, order our book, How to Teach the Bible in the Holy Spirit.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements