FIRST READING
“They shall eat and have some left.”
A reading from the second Book of Kings (2 Kings 4:42-44)

In those days: A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men,  that they may eat.”  But his servant said, “How am I to set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.”’ So he set it before them. And they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm145:10-11.15- 16.17-18 (R. see 16)
R/. You open your hand, Lord, and you satisfy us
.

All your works shall thank you, O Lord,
and all your faithful ones bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign,
and declare your mighty deeds. R.

The eyes of all look to you;
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand and satisfy
the desire of every living thing. R.

R/. You open your hand, Lord, and you satisfy us.

The Lord is just in all his ways,
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord is close to all who call him,
who call on him in truth. R

SECOND READING
“One body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Brethren: I, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

The word of the Lord.


ALLELUIA Luke 7: 16
Alleluia. A great prophet has arisen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia.

GOSPEL         
“He distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 6: 1-15)

At that time: Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. Jesus went up into the hills, and there sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the hills by himself.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The First and Third Readings of today are about the reality of hunger, and food that satisfies hunger. In both instances people were hungry and in need of food. In the gospel episode, the crowd was large, across the Sea of Galilee, far away from town. This, in human calculation, is an impossible and hopeless situation. But what is impossible for humans is possible for God because he is the Lord of compassion and love. Jesus challenges the disciples to come up with a solution: “Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?” Andrew’s half-hearted initiative and the boy’s generosity were blessed by God in the form of a huge miracle! The small boy’s five barley loaves and two fish’ were enough to feed 5000 men besides several woman and children to satisfaction! God works when we are willing to cooperate with him. Complaining and murmuring about the enormity of the problem won’t solve it until we are willing and generous to take our own initiative and place the little we have at the feet of the Lord. Saint Paul exhorts us today to “… lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called. With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love.” Humility, gentleness and patience in all situations and loving support to each other – that’s the essence of Christian life.

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