Today we learn about Jesus' compassionate character and how he was able to feed a crowd of 5000 people with five loves and two fish at the end of a long day. This Gospel story is a precursor to the Last Supper, where we are reminded of how God feeds the world spiritually through the Eucharist.
Jesus, help us to share whatever we have with others, and not to be greedy in any way. As we remember our brothers and sisters in other countries who have no food, we pray that the rest of the world will learn to share too, so that the world can be a happier place.
Source: THE COMPLETE CHILDREN'S LITURGY BOOK (THOMPSON, 1996)
A large crowd had followed Jesus to a hillside beside the Sea of Galilee to hear him teach. As it grew late in the day, the disciples asked Jesus to send the people away to find some food for themselves. "They do not need to leave," said Jesus. "We can share our food with them."
"But all we have for ourselves are five loaves and two fish, and there must be five thousand people to feed!" exclaimed the disciples. "bring the food to me," said Jesus and he told the crowds to sit down quietly. Jesus took the loaves and fish and gave thanks to God. Blessed the bread, broke it, and handed it to the disciples to share with the people. There was plenty for everyone to eat, and when they had finished eating, they filled twelve baskets with the scraps. The people were amazed, and they went away telling everyone about the miracle they had seen that day.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAu1vGh9pmU (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Say: It was a very large crowd with Jesus that day. How many loaves and fish did the disciples report that they had? (five loaves, two fish) Could that number have been equally divided and shared with the crowd? If so, what would the portions have looked like? (Probably not; the portions would have been extraordinarily small.) Jesus seems to be making a very unreasonable request to his disciples. How do you think they felt? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Ask: What did Jesus do with the bread and the fish? (He blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples; the disciples distributed the food to the crowd.) Does this sound familiar? When else did Jesus bless food, break it, and give it to the disciples? (at the Last Supper) This reading is about sharing what we have with others, and it is also about the Eucharist. How many people were fed? (more than 5,000) The Gospel tells us that they all ate and were satisfied and there were leftovers—12 baskets full!
Say: Jesus did more than divide what the disciples had to share; he multiplied their small offering of food. God blesses our acts of generosity and makes what seems scarce to be plentiful. This is indeed a miracle.
Conclude in prayer together, asking God to bless and multiply our small acts of generosity.