The Feeding of the Four Thousand
Woodrow Wilson said: “No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.”
Today’s gospel tells us about the feeding of Jesus of about four thousand people out of the seven breads that were offered to him. He feeds them because they are with Him for three days and they are hungry.
You know, for the Jews, the use of the sacred numbers of three and seven suggest manifestation of God. It is because, ‘three,’ recalls that event by which three three-year-old animals are slaughtered and offered to God when Abraham entered into a covenant with Him. And also Sarah, his wife, prepared three seahs of fine flour when three unexpected visitors deliver a message that she would give birth to Isaac.
While ‘seven’ for the Jews, symbolizes fullness or completeness or total. It recalls that event by which after God created the world in six days and on the seventh day, He rested. It also recalls when Naaman, the Syrian, washes seven times in the Jordan River and was healed of his leprosy.
Actually the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish symbolizes the Holy Eucharist. It foreshadows the giving of Jesus of Himself in the Eucharist. This is so because of the presence of the four elements or the four acts of the Holy Eucharist that Jesus does when He takes the bread, namely: taking the bread (or Offertory), give thanks (or the Eucharistic Prayer), breaks the Bread (or during the singing of the ‘Lamb of God’) and gives the bread (or Communion).
In other words, what Saint Mark wants to relay to us is that the Holy Eucharist represents the fullness or completeness of the manifestation of God to His people like us in the Eucharist. Jesus satisfies our hungry for God through His word and His Body in the Holy Eucharist. That, when we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist He becomes one with us and part of us.
Just like this story I read of a little orphan Joe, told by Edwin White, went to be examined by the orphanage doctor. When he came back the nun asked, “What did he say to you, Joe?” and Joe answered, “He said to me, ‘what a miserable little specimen you are.’” And then Joe added, “But, Sister, I don’t think he knew I had made my first communion.”
White continued that this is what gives us value. That you and I don’t need to fight and fume to win love and respect. For God who made likes us so much, even if really we are not very likeable, that He comes to us in communion and comradeship.
But the Eucharist does not end when the priest dismisses us and gives the final blessing. But we must go home, go to our neighborhood and places and proclaim that Jesus is our Lord. We must proclaim that Jesus lives on in us.
OPTION 01, 02, 03,