Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/6/2014 (8 months 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 (8 months 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

Disaffected Colorado teenager who tried to join ISIS gets four years in prison Watch

Image of After serving four years in prison, 19-year-old Shannon Conley must spend three years of supervised release and serve community service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Poor choices made in youthful hast have consequences. Nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, from Colorado has been sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State. At the heart of this disturbing story is an Internet romance that went ... continue reading


Coin collectors of the world eagerly line up to see 1822 Half Eagle at convention Watch

Image of Historically, nearly 18,000 of the $5 pieces were minted in 1822. As the concentration of gold was lowered in coins after 1834, most of the earlier coins were melted down for gold.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

One of the rarest coins in the U.S., the 1822 Half Eagle, originally worth only $5, will make its first public appearance in more than three decades in Long Beach this weekend. There are only three of the coins known still in existence. The coin will go on ... continue reading


California's Kern County declares state of FISCAL EMERGENCY with plunging gas prices Watch

Image of Supervisors adopted a plan to immediately begin scaling back county spending rather than making deep reductions all at once in July.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kern County, in central California, relies heavily on its petroleum industry for tax revenues. While motorists nationwide are currently enjoying lower gas prices, this spells certain disaster for the County of Kern - officials there have declared a fiscal ... continue reading


Could terrorists attempt to attack the White House with a drone? Crash sparks debate over future use of drones in war Watch

Image of A small, four propeller drone, crashed on the White House lawn, spurring a discussion on whether drones may be used by terrorist groups in the future.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A two-foot-long, four propeller drone crashed onto the White House grounds yesterday, raising troubling questions that drones could be utilized by terrorists or other potential murderers to attack the White House or other U.S. government institutions that have ... continue reading


The Thrill of the Chaste: Matt C. Abbott Interviews Dawn Eden Watch

Image of Dawn Eden, author of the highly-acclaimed My Peace I Give You and the Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste

By Matt C. Abbott

Being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and receiving Jesus' own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, has given me a deeper understanding of the meaning of being embodied. I see more clearly how chastity enables one to love fully in each relationship, in the ... continue reading


GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... continue reading


Is Israel beholden to Obama? Should the president be able to hold the American people hostage via threat of veto? Republicans and Israeli prime minister say no! Watch

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3 about keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of Iran.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On March 3, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before the a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a move which is as much a show of support for Israel from the Republican dominated legislature as it is a rebuff of President Obama. LOS ANGELES, ... 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, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... 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