The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and its association with the Eucharist, and the importance of sharing our possessions, were the central themes of the Pope’s remarks before praying with faithful gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.
In the narrative of feeding the five thousand as recounted in Sunday, July 29 Gospel, “the emphasis on the topic of ‘bread’ which is shared, and on giving thanks, are references to the Eucharist”, the Holy Father explained. The narrative also mentions a boy who, seeing the difficulty in feeding so many people, shared the little he had: five loaves and two fish. Thus “the miracle did not come from nowhere, it came from an ordinary boy’s desire to share what he had. Jesus does not ask us what we do not possess, but shows us that if each of us offers the little we have, a miracle can always happen. God is able to multiply every one of our small deeds of love and make us share in His gift”.
In this episode “the crowds were struck by wonder. They saw Jesus as a new Moses, worthy of power, and the new manna as a guarantee for the future. But they stopped at the material aspect, at what they ate, while the Lord, realizing ‘they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself’. Jesus is not an earthly king who rules, but a king who serves, who bends to man’s level to meet not only his material hunger, but his deeper hunger, his hunger for guidance, meaning and truth, his hunger for God”.
“Let us ask the Lord to help us rediscover the importance of nourishing ourselves not only with bread, but with truth, love, Christ, the body of Christ. … At the same time, we wish to pray that no one may lack the bread necessary for a dignified life, and that all inequalities be removed, not through weapons and violence, but through sharing and love”.