Tag Archives: Fishes and Loaves

18th Sunday of the Year: The miracle of fishes and loaves.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Study:  Where in my life have I experienced God’s abundant grace?  Where and when have I encountered a miracle?

Pray:  Jesus met the people in their needs; perhaps we might come to the Lord with our concerns and fears.

Serve:  How might we be an instrument of grace for another today?  Has the Lord put someone in our life right now to serve?

18th Sunday of the Year Readings

The Gospel this week offers a familiar story that many of us have heard on numerous occasions.  The miracle of the fishes and loaves offers a rich opportunity to reflect on a variety of themes that are central to the Christian disciple.

In order to do this, let’s take a step-by-step review of this story:

1.  Jesus hears of the death of John the Baptist
2.  Jesus seeks solitude in a deserted place
3.  The crowds eagerly seek Jesus
4.  Jesus sees the crowds and pities them
5.  Jesus cures their sick
6.  The people are hungry and far from home
7.  The disciples tell Jesus to send the people away
8.  Jesus tells the disciples to feed the people
9.  The disciples say there is only 5 loaves & 2 fish
11.  There is an abundance (leftovers of food!)

Here are a few observations:

1.  Jesus’ heart is moved with sorrow for the death of John the Baptist.  Perhaps he is considering his own approaching death, and he seeks some quiet personal time.  Yet when the crowds crush in upon him, the Lord pities and responds to their needs.  It is the generous and loving heart of Jesus that is worthy of reflection and observation here.

2.  Jesus observes that many people are sick, and the Lord takes the time to heal their bodies.

3.  The people have been with Jesus all day.  They are far from home, and they have not eaten.  While the disciples want the Lord to send them away, Jesus commands them to feed the people; when they use the limited food supply as their excuse, Jesus takes, blesses, breaks, and gives them an abundance.  Thus, Jesus cares for the people – body and soul in a way that is truly overwhelming.

4.  The same verbs of taking, blessing, breaking, and giving are used to describe the Lord at the Last Supper.  This feeding miracle is just another form of Eucharist!

Jesus moves beyond his own personal concerns to love, respond, and serve others.  The Lord cares for both the physical and spiritual needs of people in a generous way.  May we follow his example in our own lives of service and ministry.

Note: This post was first published on July 29, 2014.

Daily Mass: Lessons learned from a miracle of fishes and loaves. Catholic Inspiration

The miracle of the fishes and loaves in Mark’s Gospel reveals several insights about Jesus that can guide us as we follow the Lord today.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 5th Week of the Year


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: The multiplication of the fishes and loaves. Catholic Inspiration

This is the altar at the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Note the two fish and the basket containing four loaves…the fifth loaf is for the altar!

The multiplication of the fishes and loaves in the Gospel of Mark uses the same language that we use to describe what happens at Mass when the priest takes the bread and wine. May we be nourished every time we go to pray, so that we can nourish others with the gift of our lives.

Mass Readings – Tuesday after Epiphany


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: Building up Body and Soul. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord takes pity on the crowd and he nourishes them through teaching, compassion and food.  Following his example, we are called to do the same as we help our brothers and sisters by building them up…body and soul.

Mass Readings – Tuesday after Epiphany


Catholic Inspiration Archives

Daily Mass: God feeds us, body and soul. Catholic Inspiration

Anyone who loves cooking knows the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread.  Our bodies require daily nourishment to thrive, and we rely on spiritual food for our relationship with the Lord.  Jesus offers both in John’s account today of the miracle of the fish and loaves.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Little things make big differences. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord warns the disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, and he reminds them of the multiplication of the loaves to feed thousands.  It’s a good insight that both good and bad things start small, and like leaven in dough, they can make big differences.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 6th Week of the Year


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: The leaven of God’s grace. Catholic Inspiration


Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 6th Week of the Year (Sts. Cyril & Methodius)

Jesus recalls how a little yeast can transform dough – making it grow larger into something new.  In our spiritual lives this process can work for both good or evil, and we are invited today to embrace God’s grace into our hearts, changing us into daughters and sons of God.


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Daily Mass: Christ cures and feeds us! Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast – Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Daily Mass Readings

Some 1st graders from Cathedral School share their thoughts on the Gospel reading today!

pod 16.04.08

17th Sunday of the Year – Gratitude & Petition at the Lord’s Table – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 17th Sunday of the Year Homily Podcast

Our daily need for nourishment reminds us of our basic dependence on wholesome food.  What’s more, we recognize that we depend upon the Lord for spiritual grace as well.  As we ponder the multiplication miracle in today’s Gospel, I suggest that we draw near to the Lord with Gratitude and Petition – responding in love to the one who knows our needs and longs to provide the sustenance we require.

17th Sunday of the Year – Hungry? Come and Eat!

Loaves and Fish

Study:  Recall a time when you experienced real hunger.  What was it like?

Pray:  What are you hungry for in your spiritual life?  Ask the Lord to feed your soul.

Serve:  Consider helping out a food pantry or location that serves meals to those in need.  How can you help alleviate hunger around the world?

17th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

The word hunger means many things to different groups of people:

  • You have the “munchies” and want to graze on snack foods
  • You hanker for something…but you are not sure what it is
  • Your stomach is growling and you want to eat
  • Your blood sugar is dropping and you know you need to eat
  • You have missed a couple of meals and you are ravenous
  • You have not eaten in days…and you understand starvation

At it’s most basic level, hunger means that we recognize our need for food to keep our bodies going.  While most of us have no awareness of famine, we all have the daily experience of the need to eat.  Food is necessary for life, and the quality of the food we eat enhances (or detracts) from the quality of our lives.

The same concept applies to our spiritual lives as well.  We certainly need a level of physical health to sustain our spiritual lives, but we also require spiritual sustenance to strengthen our souls and renew our hearts.

Jesus knew this.  The people coming to him were hungry – body and soul – and his teaching, feeding, and Eucharist sustained them.  What’s more, every time we come to the altar we participate in the banquet of his grace.  We continue to receive – Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity – the spiritual food we need to flourish.

Practically, when we come to the table may we pray with grateful hearts for the blessing of nutritious food; when we come to the altar may we pray with grateful hearts for the blessing of Christ.  In both cases, the hand of the Lord feeds us, he answers all our needs.


The Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti);  ca 1545-1550, oil on canvas, 61 x 160 1/2 inches,  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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