First Reading: 1 2 Kgs 4:42-44
Psalm: 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18
Second Reading: 2 Eph 4:1-6
Gospel: Jn 6:1-15
In our secular humanistic culture, we tend to deny the miracles of Jesus. For instance, some people maintain that Jesus didn’t really multiply the loaves and the fish but just got everybody to share. By looking at the context of Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and the fish in the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel, we can determine that Jesus actually did the miracle of multiplication.
In the first half of John’s Gospel, the multiplication of the loaves and the fish is the fourth of seven signs. All the signs are clearly miraculous according to the traditional meaning of miracles, that is, a divine intervention in nature. The first three signs are: Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine at Cana (Jn 2:1ff); the instantaneous, long-range healing of a royal official’s terminally ill son (Jn 4:46ff); and the immediate healing of a man who had been seriously ill for thirty-eight years (Jn 5:5ff). The last three signs of John’s Gospel are: Jesus’ walking on water and the apostles’ boat going two or three miles in one second (Jn 6:19ff), the healing of the man born blind (Jn 9:1ff), and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1ff). If the multiplication of the loaves and fish were not miraculous in the traditional sense, it would not fit into John’s Gospel, not inspire the people to try and make Jesus their King (Jn 6:15), and not prepare for Jesus’ unashamed proclamation of the miracle of His flesh and blood being given to us as our food and drink (Jn 6:55). Believe in miracles. Believe in Jesus, the Miracle-Worker.