A Dominican Sister reflects on the Gospel of John 6:1-15
In the Gospels there are six stories of Jesus multiplying food and feeding the crowds, two in Matthew, two in Mark, one in Luke and one in John. It is the only story, outside of the Passion narratives, that is in all 4 gospels. Some of the details of the story differ from one Gospel to another but the outline is the same. A large crowd has gathered to see Jesus. The people are hungry. Jesus tells the apostles to feed the crowd. The apostles reply that there is not enough food for so many. Jesus then blesses the bread and the fish and there is more than enough, in fact, there is an abundance of left-overs. The message is that God gives in abundance but depends on our participation.
When we gather together it is about giving and receiving. The words we use to name what we do, when we gather as a community of believers, shine a light on various aspects of who and what we are. Eucharist means “thanksgiving” and liturgy means “work of the people”. To worship, to celebrate with each other means that we come together; we welcome one another; we pray; we bless; we give, and we receive. Through our participation, we are given: hope, comfort, counsel, peace, courage, and love.
Then at the end of the liturgy we are sent to continue to share our gifts with one another. What talents do we receive and share with others: art, painting, sculpture, weaving, music, singing, needle work, poetry, dance, writing, storytelling, humor, etc. And what is expected of us? That we, like Jesus and the disciples, give what we have received in whatever ways we can. There is always enough, there is always an abundance to share because we can come back together. I invite you take a few minutes and call to mind the virtues and the talents you have received. What and with whom do you, will you share?
Mary Keefe, OP