Christ is the Bread we are the Fish

FRIDAY: Second Week of Easter

Acts 5:34-42/Ps.36:1,4,13-14/Jn.6:1-15

Christ is the Bread we are the Fish

John's account of the multiplication of the loaves is a beautiful depiction of the divine's concern for social justice. In his self-disclosure, Jesus categorically stated he came that we may have life and have it more abundantly (Jn.10:10). The notion: not bread alone but the utterances of God also suggests that God caters both for the human body and the soul Deut.8:3; Matt.4:4). Also his petition in the Lord's Prayer "Give us this day our daily bread (Matt.6:11)" shows that the Lord cares for the holistic development of the human person. God looks after the wellbeing of his children - hungering for the food of the earth and life eternal.

Why did Christ have to provoke a feeling of empathy in Philip towards the multitude? Christ trained his disciples to possess his mind. To know enough about him, to teach him, and to practice what he lived (1Cor.2:16). Christ wanted Philip to have the same mind as himself (Phil.2:5). Discipleship and Christian stewardship are the collaborative efforts of men and women working with Christ building the kingdom of righteousness, justice, peace and moral consciousness on earth.

This unified effort is beautifully illustrated in the multiplication of the loaves and fish together. The bread signified the body of Christ and the fish, the body of disciples. In other words, the Church as a community of disciples has equal responsibility like her Master to offer herself as living sacrifice to save the world and to protect the integrity of the faithful.

St. Paul understood this quite well when he appealed to the rest of the Church to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom.12:1). Put differently, even while Christ made them fishers of men, Christ also intended them to be bait as well. As one body with Christ, they become one sacrifice with Christ. Therefore, as priests, religious and laity together, let us remember Christ is the bread; we are the fish, and together we are the Eucharist we offer the faithful. We must feed them with whatever God has provided us for their spiritual and human wellbeing. The Holy Mass is an ongoing celebration of the works of justice, love and sacrifice on the cross. Christ is the bread; we are the fish, blessed and broken for others.

Lord, I offer you all that I have for the growth of the Church in the world and your kingdom in heaven.

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