YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: REFLECTING ON THE MULTIPLICATION OF LOAVES
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike CM
The miracle of the loaves and fish is one of the few stories that are found in all four of the Gospels. Each of the accounts contains a verse similar to this one found in today’s gospel: “they all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand” (John 6, 10, 12-13) How did Jesus do it? First we must accept the fact that what Jesus did was humanly impossible. Five loaves of bread and two fish can’t even satisfy ten people let alone five thousand persons as St. John tells us today. Secondly, Jesus of Nazareth was more than a man. Even though the disciples of Jesus had seen his miraculous powers elsewhere, they had not fully understood who Jesus was. They had not realized that Jesus was actually God come to earth in human form. Of course Elisha worked in the power of God in the first reading to feed hundreds of people with same few loaves (2 Kings 4:42-44). It points to the unfathomable power of God.
We know that Jesus is God from Christ’s conversation with Philip: “Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus answered: don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you for such long? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (Jonh 14, 8-9).
One remarkable thing about today’s Gospel message is that even in the midst of confusion on what exactly to do or how do go about handling a particular situation, God always has a solution. And so, no matter what condition we are into, or what difficulties we think we have run into, God Knows how to lead us out of it, into safety.
Philip raised the concern that even “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little to eat” and Andrew in a state of helplessness drew their attention to the little boy carrying only 5 loaves and 2 fish which is according to him, equal to nothing as to compare to the marmot crowd that Jesus intended to feed (Jn 6, 7-8).
However, Jesus knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Thus after making the hungry and devastated men to sit comfortably on the floor, he multiplied food for them; virtually out of nothingness, into surplus. Today’s psalm gives us a good summary of God’s word for today. It tells us that the “hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs (Ps 145)
We pray that in every circumstance of our lives that Gods hands will not be too short to reach out and to come to our aid. May he continue to provide for our needs.
Happy Sunday And have a blessed week.
Fr. Cosma ukadike, C.M.