Speak Lord: Of gifts to share

Bread, Jerusalem

The gospel at Mass today, the 17th Sunday of Ordinary time, tells of the multiplication of loaves and fishes to feed the hungry crowd.

In the first reading there is a foreshadowing of the miraculous feeding in the hills of Galilee.

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing Elisha, the man of God, bread from the first-fruits, twenty barley loaves and fresh grain in the ear.’ ‘Give it to the people to eat’, Elisha said. But his servant replied, ‘How can I serve this to a hundred men?’ ‘Give it to the people to eat’ he insisted ‘for the Lord says this, “They will eat and have some left over.”’ He served them; they ate and had some left over, as the Lord had said.

2 Kings 4:42-44

The Old Testament establishes patterns that find their fulfilment in the New. And those great miracles of love that we find in the New Testament have their echoes, their wake, in our own lives.

The acts of love and kindness and generosity that we sometimes do for others, or others sometimes do for us, again and again have their true origin not just in human kindness, but in the love of God communicated in Christ, the living Bread.

We do well to thank one another for the part we play but, above all and with all, let us give thanks also to God.

Photograph of bread stall, Jerusalem. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.