Eating well through the miracle that is Jesus Christ

Published 4:11 pm Saturday, May 28, 2022

By Fr. Jonathan Filkins

And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples and to the disciples to them that were down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.”

The importance of this message, contained in Holy Scripture, is how this extraordinary miracle may be measured by the knowledge that it is the only one of our Lord’s miracles to be mentioned in all four of the Holy Gospels. This repeated miracle is also referred to twice in Matthew and Mark, making it, in all, six times that this miracle is related in the Gospels. It is, most significant in its placement and repetition.  It is also very significant for us, if we better understand the Ministry of Jesus Christ and the fuller meeting of the Holy Eucharist.  No one could argue that this miracle story, no matter from which gospel it is taken, is intriguing in the sweep of the scope of the narrative and the concise nature in which it is delivered. The location is near Decapolis, where Jesus lived as an adult. Unlike some fairytale, or myth, or fable, it was not done once upon a time, or nobody knows where, but here we have the circumstances and conditions quite well delineated, which gives us greater insights, so we may better consider and understand the events and the meaning for us. You can visit the area today.

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Chronologically, our Lord had crossed the sea of Tiberius, better known to us as the Sea of Galilee. At this juncture in our Lord’s ministry, he was being followed by large crowds who were not necessarily followers of him, or even knew him. Perhaps, like many of us, they were seeking what was in it for themselves. Perhaps like many of us, they had their doubts, they had their priorities mostly focused upon themselves. Yet, just by the act of following along, they exhibited a great curiosity; exhibited an innate desire to explore the truth of Christ Jesus.

We often here of Jesus taking refuge in the desert. We know these places to be desolate, devoid of life-giving water and sustenance. It was to this place that Jesus came. Although this was the desert, we hear of “much grass”, in this place. Today’s visitors to the area, report a “bold headland” with a smooth grassy spot at the base; which could easily capable of seating many thousands of people. While it is only conjecture as to whether this was the specific spot, or not, the parallels, the picture if you will, is likely similar.

Imagine Jesus sitting on an outcropping with the crowds spread below him. As Christ lifted up his eyes, He saw the poor, needy, ordinary people for, no doubt, they would make up such a desperate multitude Before the feeding of the multitude, Jesus gave thanks to God for what they were all about to receive. It stands as a quandary for us to understand why Jesus, as the son of God and in the Trinity, who is God, he would be praying to himself. Let us remember that our Lord, as our teacher, is providing to us the proper way of our relationship with Him. By demonstrating how to express thanksgiving, to God, by His Son, we learn.

The miracles which Christ accomplished clearly demonstrated that He was the Messiah promised, a teacher come from God, the Great Prophet. However, He could not convince these awestruck spectators that this was He who had come. There were many who were convinced he was that prophet that should come into the world, yet they did not receive or continue in his doctrine, . Perhaps, again, here we may see ourselves. While we may acknowledge our gifts, our treasures, both intellectual and physical, we may repetitively deny the source of the miracles that brought them to us. In accepting Christ as our Savior, we acknowledge the miracles in our own lives and, as He expresses them, to and through others.