Sunday, August 02, 2009

Gospel for Monday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 14:13-21

First Miracle of the Loaves and Fish

[13] Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. [14] As He went ashore He saw a great throng; and He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. [15] When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." [16] Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." [17] They said to Him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." [18] And He said, "Bring them here to Me." [19] Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. [20] And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. [21] And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
14-21. This episode must have occurred in the middle of springtime, because the grass was green (Mark 6:40; John 6:10). In the Near East loaves were usually made very thin, which meant it was easy to break them by hand and distribute them to those at table; this was usually done by the head of the household or the senior person at the meal. Our Lord follows this custom, and the miracle occurs when Jesus breaks the bread. The disciples then distribute it among the crowd. Here again we can see Jesus' desire to have people cooperate with Him.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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