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I visited the site of Jesus’ miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land last May. The area called Tabgha sits below the Mount of the Beatitudes on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. This site is also remembered for Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after the Resurrection when he prepared them breakfast and commissioned Saint Peter as leader of the Church. The mosaic above is part of the floor near the altar of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.
Jesus is concerned about feeding us. He calls fishermen—men who fish to provide food for others—to be his Apostles and later feeds his Apostles with his own Body and Blood at the Last Supper. He feeds a hungry crowd of “about five thousand men, not counting women and children” (Matthew 14:21) with only five loaves and two fish, yet the leftovers fill twelve baskets. Jesus feeds us with “the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation” at every Mass (Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer I).
Jesus cares about feeding both our physical and spiritual hungers. And he gives us the very best—his own flesh and blood in Holy Communion. With the abundance of God’s generosity and power, the small host and sip of wine multiply exponentially in filling us—and our world through us, with God’s love.
Image credit: Brigitte CAVANAGH/CIRIC