Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jesus understood the economy of heavenly scale.He lived in it. The question He asks of all of us today is - do we? He gives us the grace we need to do so!

Jesus understood the economy of heavenly scale.He lived in it. The question He asks of all of us today is - do we? He gives us the grace we need to do so! He has issued the invitation. Jesus asked the disciples a simple question: "what do you have?" They did not understand. They had been invited to participate in God's work by simply giving what they had in a Holy Exchange. Yet, they could not see beyond their doubts, fears and lack of understanding. When they finally did, Jesus used the matter given by men, five loaves and two fish, to manifest the manna of heaven. He still does, for those who choose to live their lives in the ongoing miracle.

Today, let us hear these words, from the Gospel account and from the Saint who lived them with such profound simplicity and power, and come to 'understand the loaves'. When we choose to respond to the invitation, the Lord will open our eyes to see all of life differently and we will participate in the continuing miracle. We can live the multiplication of the loaves in our daily life! We are invited to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus today.We are called to give what we have - and participate in the ongoing miracle.

Today, let us hear these words, from the Gospel account and from the Saint who lived them with such profound simplicity and power, and come to "understand the loaves". When we choose to respond to the invitation, the Lord will open our eyes to see all of life differently and we will participate in the continuing miracle. We can live the multiplication of the loaves in our daily life! We are invited to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus today.We are called to give what we have - and participate in the ongoing miracle.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Deacon Keith Fournier, multiplication of the loaves, miracles, Opus Dei, St Josemaria Escriva, What do you have, economy of heavenly scale, provision, faith, discipleship


CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - At Holy Mass on this Monday of the Third Week of Easter, we heard the passage from the Gospel of John which immediately followed the account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish. (John 6:22-29) That miracle of multiplication is recorded in all four gospels, emphasizing its significance.

As is often the case, each of the four evangelists focuses on a particular aspect of the miracle - in order to emphasize for the reader the significance and implication of the event in their own lives. St. Mark's account carries the theme I seek to focus upon. It shows us its ongoing nature as it connects the miracle with the experience of the apostles immediately following the event. 

People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 

He said to them in reply, "Give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Are we to buy two hundred days' wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?" He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out they said, "Five loaves and two fish." So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties.

Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to (his) disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. 

Those who ate (of the loaves) were five thousand men. Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake.

He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened
. (St. Mark 6:31-52)

During this account of the miracle in Mark's Gospel we are told that the disciples had encouraged Jesus to dismiss the crowd because - from their perspective - they simply could not feed these hungry people, even with two hundred days wages.

They did not see the situation they were in with the eyes of living faith.

However, Jesus did - and He wants all who bear His name to learn to walk by the light of that same living faith. In His Sacred Humanity, Jesus was moved with compassion for the crowd. The Greek root of the word for compassion means "to suffer with". The disciples viewed the matter as a "problem". They approached it through a lens of economic scarcity.

Jesus understood the economy of heavenly scale.He lived in it. The question He asks of all of us today is - do we? He gives us the grace we need to do so! He has issued the invitation.

Jesus asked the disciples a simple question: "what do you have?" They did not understand. They had been invited to participate in God's work by simply giving what they had in a Holy Exchange. Yet, they could not see beyond their doubts, fears and lack of understanding.

When they finally did, Jesus used the matter given by men, five loaves and two fish, to manifest the manna of heaven. He still does, for those who choose to live their lives in the ongoing miracle. The next day the instruction and the experience continued. We find them in the boat fishing. We find Jesus praying.

Their placement in the "boat" in the story was a favorite image for the early church fathers, seen as a figure of the ark of the Old Covenant and the ark of the New Covenant, which is the Church.

It is this Church, this communion of persons joined in Jesus through Baptism, which He came to found and over which He would later install these men in apostolic office. It is this Church, of which we are members, which continues His redemptive mission until He returns.

That is one of the many reasons why this lesson is so vitally important. We are invited to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus, the Head, by living out our vocation as memberss of His Body, the Church. This has profoundly practical implications.

The disciples needed to "understand about the loaves"- and so do we. In fact, we need to live the miracle. This kind of understanding only comes from "communion" with the Father, in the Son, through the Spirit. It is the fruit of a living, dynamic and authentic faith.

Jesus invited the disciples to believe that when they have Him, they have everything. Yet, here in a storm, they fled to the familiar, the fear of the circumstances. So powerful were their fears that they prevented them from even recognizing God Incarnate as He passed right before them! They thought He was a ghost!

How crippling our own fears can become when we do not commune in prayer but rely on ourselves and our mere human effort. They had not "understood about the loaves". Do we?  We will live the way we love.

Like the disciples, we are invited to live our lives now in the Lord.  Faith is a light that is meant to preside over our entire lives, even during those storms that inevitably come. When it does, we will see Jesus right there in the midst of the storm.

We will come to experience authentic peace, even in apparent turmoil and we learn to navigate the waters of daily life. The Lord heard the cry of the poor as it issued from the mouths of his own disciples and He spoke these beautiful words: "Take Courage it is I: Don't Be Afraid".

In addition, we will learn how to live our lives in the economy of heavenly scale. Jesus simply asks us to take the goods which we have been given - whether they be financial, spiritual, practical, relational or the gifts entrusted to us - and place them in His Holy Hands. They are all gifts to be given. There, they will be multiplied and given back to feed the crowds. Always with more than enough left over to provide for every one of our own needs.

St Josemaria Escriva wrote these insightful words in The Forge:

Our Lord wants to make us co-redeemers with him.  That is why to help us understand this marvel, he moves the evangelists to tell us of so many great wonders. He could have produced bread from anything... but he doesn't! He looks for human co-operation: he needs a child, a boy, a few pieces of bread and some fish.  He needs you and me: and he is God! This should move us to be generous in our corresponding with his grace.

If you help him, even with a trifle, as the Apostles did, He is ready to work miracles; to multiply the bread, to reform wills, to give light to the most benighted minds, to enable those who have never been upright to be so, with an extraordinary grace.  All this he will do... and more, if you will help him with what you have.
(The Forge 674,675)

Today, let us hear these words, from the Gospel account and from the Saint who lived them with such profound simplicity and power, and come to "understand the loaves". When we choose to respond to the invitation, the Lord will open our eyes to see all of life differently and we will participate in the continuing miracle. We can live the multiplication of the loaves in our daily life! We are invited to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus today.We are called to give what we have - and participate in the ongoing miracle.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


The mystery behind brains discovered in the streets of St. Lawrence County Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


Crackdown by federal agents on 'Pill Mills' in four southern states Watch

Image of An average of 44 people in the U.S. dies every day from opioids. These drugs include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration and other authorities are raiding pharmacies, pain clinics and other facilities in four southern U.S. states. It is all part of an aggressive crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 36:5-6, 10-17
5 Send new portents, do fresh wonders, win glory for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2015 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have said that ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter