Here’s a simple question… from the world of the Gospels…
Which is the only miracle, besides the Resurrection of our Blessed Lord, that is mentioned in all the four Gospel accounts?
Well, it should not be too difficult to answer this one…
Or, is it a tough one?…
Well, the answer is…
…. it IS the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves.
The feeding of the people, by the mighty deed of multiplication of the loaves, in the only miracle, besides the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus, that finds a mention in all the four Gospels.
And each of these Gospels also have something unique to speak of this incident:
>> Mt 14: 13-21: mentions about five thousand men being fed, “without counting women and children”
>> Mk 6: 31-4: mentions of making the people to be seated in “groups and clusters of hundreds and fifties”
>> Lk 9: 10-17: also mentions of five thousand men and being seated in clusters of fifty and also mentions Jesus, “looking up to the heavens”.
>> Jn 6: 5-15: mentions of a “little boy”, who is the provider of the five loaves and two fish and also that “the Lord gave thanks for it”, before distributing it to the people.
The Gospel of the Day presents this account of the multiplication from the eyes of St John, the Evangelist.
Since this miracle finds its parallel with the Resurrection, as the only one mentioned in all the four Gospels, we could highlight some of the outstanding features of this “massive” miracle
>> The multiplication of the loaves fed a massive crowd.
Five thousand men could mean, that including women and children, it would have easily exceeded over twenty thousand people!
This easily was the miracle that Jesus performed with the greatest number of witnesses and participants.
>> The multiplication of the loaves was a miracle of “creation”.
There are other miracles of Jesus, mentioned in the Bible, which could fall in the following categories…
>> Miracles of healing: Curing of many sicknesses and diseases
>> Miracles over nature: Powerful control over the forces of nature
>> Miracles of exorcism: Casting out demons and liberating people from them
>> Miracles of transformation: Transforming an object to something else or even of people
>> Miracles of restoration: Restoring people to their original state of life and good condition
But the miracle of the “multiplication” is unique in the sense, that it resembled “creation”.
>> God created the world “ex-nihilo – out of nothing”; Jesus now creates the loaves from nothing, and feeds the people.
This miracle of the multiplication also reveals some of the finest qualities of Jesus, the Messiah…
1. His sensitivity to the needs of the people
While the disciples were just eager to send the crowd away, Jesus reaches out to them in compassion and love.
2. His ability to effect changes in the mindset and thinking-pattern
The disciples could see no way, in that desert to feed the gigantic crowd. They had only question marks before them.
But Jesus, sheds new light on their minds and helps them find a solution, even in the seemingly impossible situation
3. His perfect control in a situation of panic
Though there would have been panic in the minds of the disciples, Jesus impresses upon them the fact, that He is in total charge and in complete control.
As the Lord and Creator, He knows exactly what is to be done in the moment of crisis and calamity.
4. His attitude of raising His heart in thanksgiving at every situation
We read that before the actual multiplication happened, Jesus “took the loaves, and gave thanks…” (Jn 6: 11)
It’s amazing to imagine that situation:
… Thousands and thousands of people, eagerly waiting, hungry and exhausted….
… Having just Five Loaves and the Two Fish – which was scarcely able to meet the hunger of a couple of people…
… Jesus still raises His Heart in thanksgiving and gratitude!
It is tremendous faith that allows a person to raise one’s mind in gratitude, even in the midst of utter poverty, deep need and barren nothingness!
5. His consciousness to gather the remaining pieces, after the miracle
The Lord, “Who came save and seek the lost” is also highly mindful of gathering up the remaining broken pieces of the loaves.
The disciples get trained to become aware of “what is often considered as wasteful” can also become resourceful!
The disciples are reminded that even things that are usually “discarded” and regarded as being “unwanted and useless”, can become sources of strength and nourishment!
This beautiful and unique miracle of the multiplication, is a reminder to each one of us also:
Am I able…
(1) … to be sensitive and responsive to the needs and desires of those around me?
(2) … to see the brighter side of life, with the Grace and strength from God, and rub the fragrance of this positivity onto others in my life?
(3) … to rise above the situations of panic and disturbances, and be calm, knowing that I have a God, who is ultimately in total and perfect control of every situation of turmoil?
(4)… to lift up my heart to the Lord, in thanksgiving, at every moment and situation of life, even when the chips are down or when I pass through the dark tunnels and the deep, despairing valleys life?
(5)… to be aware of the “unwanted” talents in me, the “excess” people of the society and the “discarded” peripherals of the world, and seek to make the best use of them and collect them to be part of the mainframe scene?
God Bless! Live Jesus!