CACINA

Homily July 26, 2015 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, Resurrection, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on July 22, 2015

17sundIf you noticed, today we have taken our reading from John’s gospel. The feeding of the multitude is found in each of the four gospels, with two versions in both Mark and Mathew and it appears once in Luke and John. Writing even sixty or more years later, John definitely sees it as a miracle or as a “sign” as he calls it. But I think the important thing here is not to focus on the feeding of the people, or the numbers fed, but the focus in the gospel needs to be on Jesus and who he was, what his mission was and what it meant. Think of the context of the mountain at the beginning and the end recalls Sinai and Moses as leader and prophet. The boy with the five barley loaves is a reminder of the twenty barley loaves that the prophet Elisha fed the hundred with in the first reading. Jesus17sunda used five to feed thousands. Thus Jesus like Moses and Elisha was an agent, a prophet of God. Yes he was the prophet, the one who was to come. Thus we see the whole focus was Jesus was on a mission, the one who was coming, the new Moses come to lead Israel. But John is seeing it through the subsequent death and resurrection of Jesus. The people made the right identification of Jesus but were wrong as to the intentions of God the sender of prophets. Jesus was truly sent to lead and be the new king of Israel but not in the way that they perceived in their own selfish view. Jesus sought no earthly powers or kingdom and thus fled from the people before they could act on their misconception of what Jesus wanted.

John certainly sees Jesus as messiah, but certainly not an earthly king. Sure, Moses led the people to a land

Moses

Moses

to call their own and ultimately a kingdom, but Jesus was leading people to a place Moses could only point towards. So, the feeding of the multitude for John is kind of a tieing up of loose ends of Jesus ministry, placing him in the context of the prophets, showing he is the one to come and as resurrected 17sunday1Lord is the leader to a place with his Father that no one else could lead .The importance of this miracle is underlined by its appearance in all the gospels and obviously identified by early believers who either experienced the event or knew someone who passed it on to them. It is early witness to who Jesus is and that he provides food not only physically but Spiritually for life and prayer and our journey for eternal life.

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