From the Pastor’s Desk.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and the fish is presented as a sign of his authority and divinity. In many important ways, John’s Gospel uses the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish to teach about the Eucharist. Like the Last Supper, this miracle is said to have occurred near the time of the Jewish feast of Passover. John’s description of this event also anticipates the Messianic banquet of heaven, as the crowd reclines and all hungers are satisfied with abundance. Our word Eucharist is taken from the Greek language and describes an action: “to give thanks.” In the Eucharist, we are fed by Jesus himself, and we are sent to serve others.
John’s Gospel notes the detail that the bread blessed and shared with the crowd are barley loaves. This is the food of the poor. It reminds us that God feeds and nourishes us, fulfilling our physical needs as well as our spiritual ones. In the Eucharist, we are sent to serve the poorest among us. In the offertory at Mass, we present the fruits of our labors, represented by bread and wine. These gifts, given to us first by God as grain and fruit, are returned to God in our offering of thanksgiving. God in turn transforms our gifts, making this bread and wine the very Body and Blood of Jesus.