April 8, 2016
Friday of the first week after Easter
The good news for the Day
So they collected leftovers, and with them filled twelve wicker baskets from the five barley loaves—leftovers that had proved more than they could eat. When the people saw the significant thing he had done, they said, “This is really THE Prophet, the one who is supposed to come into our world.” Once Jesus realized that they were going to come and carry him off to make him their ruler, he retired one more time to the mountain alone. (John 6, 13-15)
The “multiplication of the loves” is a miracle of such value to the Evangelists that it is told, with variations, five times. That day, an astonishing event occurred—out there in some obscure place where a large number had taken the day—or several days—off to come hear this preacher. What he said that day fades away compared to what he did.
And yet He Himself did very little. Mostly he acts through the Philip and Andrew and the rest. .
He asked his staff, his friends, to find out how much food was available for the several thousand who had traveled away from their homes to get here—across the Sea of Galilee, away from the cities and towns.
A few (dried) fish, a few loaves of poor folks’ bread, He was told.
The writings do not say that the loaves and fishes popped into duplicates–like some Harry Potter magic. The story implies—no matter which version we have—that the bread multiplied because people found such transportable food among themselves and—the miracle is—they shared it out of their own pockets.
THAT is the miracle of Christian love, the essence of following Jesus, the Good News. Jesus gets people to satisfy one another’s needs.