Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” vs. 19Matthew 14:18-21
The miracle of Jesus feeding the multitude with a few loaves of bread was a favorite of the gospel writers, appearing six times in all, twice in Matthew and Mark. And while preachers regularly ruin the story with their feeble attempts to explain how Jesus pulled it off, there is no doubt that early believers took great delight in recounting its details. For them the story called to mind what was regularly happening in every community of faith – the words are virtually identical. Jesus took the loaves, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke them, and then through the disciples distributed the bread to the crowds. This is the ritual that was central to the early church, and even today every congregation gathers regularly for the breaking, blessing, and distribution of the bread. While we most frequently connect Holy Communion to the Last Supper there’s something special in linking it to this impromptu meal on the grassy hills of Galilee overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It must have been a spectacular setting. But best of all, no one was left out. All were invited to eat, all were fed and filled, and all were satisfied. It was the best meal ever, a foretaste of the feast to come!
Thought for the Day: What is satisfying about Holy Communion?