“[T]hey had had their fill…”

The Church gives us the privilege to begin reading with her John 6.  Through next Saturday (except for the Feast of St. Mark on Wednesday) we will be working through this entire chapter that climaxes with the Bread of Life discourse.  The Eucharistic theme begins immediately in today’s passage (Jn 6:1-15).  A large crowd follows Jesus up a mountain “because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick” (v. 2).  Jesus desires that His disciples feed them but they tell Him it is not feasible because it would cost much to do so and they have little food presently available.  Jesus then blesses what little they have and has it distributed.  It turns out to be more than enough for everyone, so that the disciples even pick up the leftovers.  This astonishing event makes the people declare that He is the Prophet, but Jesus slips away so that the people would not “carry him off to make him king” (v. 15).  The people following Jesus had their fill of bread and fish which Jesus miraculously multiplied.  Let us hope that they never had enough, and we never have enough, of Jesus’ teaching and body.  We ought never to pursue Jesus just for what He can do for us in the material world, like a divine vending machine.  Rather, it is in Word and Sacrament in the liturgy that Jesus becomes present to us in a special way.  It is there that we must seek our fill of the nourishment that brings eternal life.  There we find the graces sufficient to overcome all the difficulties, tribulations, and sufferings we endure in life.  Let us always make room for Christ, placing Him first by eliminating distractions and putting aside sin and vice to be open to Him filling us up.  Only then will we find true fulfillment.

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