When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Changing water into wine at Cana and multiplying the loaves and fishes in today’s gospel show Jesus’ power over material elements. All of this leads to greater truths.
Bread and wine, body and blood—these are basic components of human beings and elements that sustain human existence. These basic realities connect us to the humanity of Jesus and touch upon one of the deepest mysteries of our faith. Without the Incarnation, we would not be able to speak of Jesus’ body and blood. Without Jesus’ sacrifice at the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, we could not be offered these same elements transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
What an incredible gift Christ has given us; he has left us, but he is still with us. In the Eucharist we are united with him and with one another in a unique way.
Godhead here in hiding, whom I adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
—St. Thomas Aquinas, Adoro Te, trans. by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
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