1Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias]. 2A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. 3Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish feast of Passover was near. 5When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” 6He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” 10Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. 12When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. 14When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” 15Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? Jesus’ question reveals a shepherd’s heart. Jesus does not only sympathize and pity the people. He helps and feeds them. He is responsible for them. He is a good shepherd for them.
Jesus’ example challenges us to do something for people in need. Sympathy is not enough. Get-well-soon cards cannot replace actual care of the sick. Acts of charity are needed. We do not calculate whether we have extra before we help people in need. We do not reason that we cannot be of help because we do not have much or because we are in dire need ourselves. God always gives us numerous opportunities so that we can help other people.
Even without the five loaves and two fish Jesus can still perform miracles and feed people. But Jesus wants us to realize the value of sharing and learn the virtue of generosity. Miracles happen when we are willing to share, when we are gracious enough to help and give.
Who are the people in my life with whom
I have to share my bread and my blessings?