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Browsing Reflections Archive

April 16, 2021

Daily Reflection for Friday, April 16, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Acts 5:34-42
Responsorial: Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
Gospel: John 6:1-15

Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
“When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”  John 6:5

“Paul, you are not very observant!” says my wife of 44 years.  If anyone would know, it certainly would be she.  I have missed my fair share of social cues, flashing neon signs, and changed hair styles over the years much to her chagrin!

So, I am not surprised when I reflected on this familiar gospel story that there were more than a few things that I have never observed in the story

This is the only miracle story that is found in all four gospels!  When you think about what happened with so many people involved in that period of time, the logistics alone are mind boggling.  Five thousand men not including women and children would have conservatively been fifteen thousand or more.  That is an event that people tell stories about for a long time.  The closest thing that I can liken it to in my lifetime was the Jubilee mass held at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis where 40,000 people gathered for confirmation and a Eucharistic celebration in September 2000.  My son was confirmed at that event and it was truly unforgettable.

I never really noticed that this gospel event occurred so close to the Jewish feast of Passover.  Perhaps Jesus noticed that the women and children came prepared for a meal and saw an opportunity for a “Jubilee Seder Meal”!  The gospel writer tells us that “[Jesus] knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6).  What may have been a seder meal for the crowd was a foreshadowing of a Eucharistic meal that connected all these people after Christ’s resurrection.

When I think about Philip’s response to Jesus, it is probably how I would have responded!  Really Jesus, you want us to come up with enough for this crowd to eat?  It seems that all that Jesus asked of his disciples was to recognize potential.  Andrew recognized and observed potential in the boy with 2 fish and 5 barley loaves and that was enough!  Jesus provides the rest and only asks us to observe and learn from him.

What does Jesus want you to see today?

Paul Gunn


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