“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied.” (Matthew 14:19-20)
One of the great things that I remember about my mother is the grEat bread she would bake for the holidays. The aroma of that baking bread was enough to make your mouth water. But the taste, well, that was like heaven. The bread was so rich and dense that you did not need to put butter on it to enjoy it, but we did anyway. That bread was a little bit of heaven on earth.
The bread that Jesus used in His miracle must have been quite tasty also. It was not like the bread that my mother made, but was a flat round loaf much like pita. 5 loaves would have been sufficient to feed one person for a day along with the 2 fish, which were small, perhaps like sardines. These would have been enough for the one boy who brought them, but Jesus used them to feed 5000 men and more when you add in the women and children who had gathered to hear Jesus preach by the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
This miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes intrigues our imagination. We struggle to see how it happened. One moment Jesus is holding 5 loaves and 2 fish, and the next He is handing out thousands of loaves and fish, so much so that everyone eats until they are full. And there were still leftovers. Where did all that food come from? Out of thin air? Out of His hands? It was a spectacular miracle, and the people there knew that it was a sign that Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus used this miracle to show that He is the source of all life. We can find satisfaction in Him alone. And yet, we seek that satisfaction in the things of the world, the traditions of our families and ancestors, or what the media or our friends tell us is important. As our reading in Isaiah 55 shows us, oUr true spiritual nourishment, that which satisfies comes from the Lord God Almighty, from Jesus. Whatever else we do cannot be more important than our relationship with Him. Nothing the world has to offer satisfies like Jesus. For He alone is truth. He alone is God almighty. He alone is the source of eternal life.