Working for the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phraseslarge crowd was coming to him, Where can we buy enough food, test him, he himself knew what he was going to do, had their fill.

To the point: What answer did Philip need to give Jesus to pass the test? When Jesus asks about where to buy food to satisfy the hunger of the large crowd, he is not thinking about a store and purchases. He is really asking a question about who he is. Jesus knows full well that the “where” of the food will be himself. The superabundance of food Jesus provides from so little is a sign of the fullness of Life—his very self—Jesus gives. So, Philip's answer? “Give them yourself.”

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: Elisha begins with more barley loaves (twenty) and satisfies the hunger of a smaller crowd (one hundred people) with “some left over.” Jesus begins with only a few barley loaves (five) and satisfies the hunger of a much larger crowd (five thousand) with “twelve wicker baskets left over.”

… to experience: We Americans enter supermarkets and are faced with a superabundance of food that we take for granted. This gospel reminds us that it is not Quantity that satisfies but who gives us the food.


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson