Quick background and fun fact about where we are in the liturgical season right now: At Mass, we rotate between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in a three year cycle. These three synoptic Gospels are structured similarly as they share the same stories through their different perspectives. John is poetic and brings a unique flavor to the Good News so he's sprinkled in during special seasons and feasts to shake it up a bit. We are in Year B now and are reading Mark, the shortest Gospel. So, we get to reflect on John 6, also known as the Bread of Life Discourse, for a few weeks!
The readings this past Sunday were all about bread, hunger, and leftovers. Mmm sounds like a feast right?! I just thought of all of my dinners with friends at Texas Roadhouse. We arrive when we're hungry and eye the warm rolls being carried to our table. We don't even ask for them, but we can count on them being there for us with the delicious cinnamon butter on the side. We divide the rolls between us and feel very satisfied quickly. Before long, more rolls arrive at our table. There is so much goodness leftover that we can't even consume all of it.
Ok, ok, I'm making everyone hungry. I know that God blesses Texas, but what does that have to do with the readings? Check out all of these powerful verses packed into one Mass about satisfying our hunger with leftovers!
1st Reading (2 Kings 4:43-44)
"'They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'" And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.
Psalm (Pslam 145)
The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
2nd Reading (Ephesians 4:6)
One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Gospel (John 6:11-13)
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
When 5,000 + needed food, Andrew asked Jesus, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"
When have you thought what you were giving or receiving was inadequate?
God promises through the prophet Elisha that "the people will eat and some shall be left over."
Do you trust God's promises of surplus when all that seems visible is scarcity?
"The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs... gives us food in due season... and satisfies the desire of every living being."
What are your needs in the season you are in right now?
Have you asked God, YOUR Father, who is "over all, through all, and in all?"
God doesn't let any season of our lives go to waste. He uses every fragment and works miracles right in front of our eyes. "The most incredible things about miracles is that they happen!" (GK Chesterton) He knows our deepest hunger and wants to fill us with abundance -- not just to survive but to thrive! He transforms bread into HIS BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, and DIVINITY at EVERY Mass to satisfy the hunger in our souls! What miracles can Jesus work for you today?
Maybe we can talk about it over rolls with cinnamon butter?