Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: kingdom of God, healed, gave, all ate, satisfied, fragments ... filled

To the point: Healing, nourishment, satisfaction, and abundance are all signs of the presence of the kingdom of God. Jesus’ actions in this gospel, however, reveal an even more telling sign. By taking, blessing, breaking, and giving the bread and fish, he foreshadows the total gift of his very self—on the Cross, in the Eucharist. 

The fullest presence of the kingdom of God is revealed by the total gift of self. When we receive Jesus’ gift of self in the Eucharist and choose to be transformed into being that same gift for others, we are the visible presence of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God comes to fulfillment in every act of total self-giving.

Connecting the Gospel …

... to the first reading: The focus of this solemnity is not limited to our eating and drinking the eucharistic elements, but leads to our living the total self-giving of Christ: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”

... to experience: Total self-giving seems beyond human capability. Only little by little do we grow in our capacity to give ourselves as Jesus did. The Eucharist nourishes and encourages us as we more and more in our daily lives choose self-giving.

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson