To fully understand the whole message of the first reading that we have read and heard, it is necessary to know a little about the personality of the prophet Elijah. Elijah was an impetuous, lively prophet, friend of extraordinary events that astonished his contemporaries when they contemplated them.
He has just experienced one of these events when God pushes him to leave the city, go into the desert, and climb the mountain Horeb because God is going to pass through there. God wants to teach Elijah a lesson, showing him a new form of manifestation of divinity. First what were the typical manifestations appear: mighty wind, earthquake, a fire that consumes everything. But God was not there and this was surprising to the prophet. He did not understand.
God is going to appear in the gentle morning breeze which relaxes, refreshes and seems to encourage you to live. God was there, not in the great, surprising and terrifying manifestations, where the prophet expected to find him. And this manifestation was new for Elijah, it was something that he could not intuit. The surprised prophet, after this divine manifestation, vigorously pursued his mission in favour of the people of Israel, but with that lesson taught by God.
This passage is now also a good and great lesson for us on this Sunday. Many times we may seek God in surprising, striking things. We often ask God for a spectacular sign so that its presence becomes more evident and everyone can believe.
And we do not realize that we are being like that soldier of the Gospel who once told Jesus that if he was the Son of God he should come down from the cross and everyone would believe in him. When we ask God for surprising things so that we can believe in him, we are acting like that soldier.
We can discover Jesus in many ways, but today the word of God has told us that he can also be discovered in simple things: in what happens in our everyday life, in the love of the children, in the affection of a spouse, in respect for co-workers and office colleagues, in our daily coexistence with our neighbors, in the person I meet when I go out on the street. Our God is manifesting himself to us in such situations and he wants us to discover him even if it costs us, just as it cost Elijah to discover him in that fleeting and almost insignificant breeze.
This can be a good reason for reflection for this week. Or we can look at the behaviour of Peter in the Gospel. He was fascinated by the presence of Jesus and with his characteristic temperament he throws himself into the water to be close to Him, but when he begins to sink, his doubts appear. Perhaps this also happens to us: we want to be faithful to Jesus, we want to feel his presence, and be with him, but when the first difficulties appear, we quickly begin to doubt, we feel alone, with no one to help us, and our faith is coming down. That is why we tell you, Lord: increase our faith, that we know how to discover and feel you always, even when it seems that you are hiding from us.
In many places there are Food Banks. Those in need can come and get food free of charge. Many people are bringing food and volunteers are distributing it at the distribution points. It is good if nobody has to get hungry…
In order to remedy the hunger areas of the world, there are many help organizations that ask people to share their bread with others. CAFOD, Missio, Caritas are just some of them.
As important as it is to ensure that people do not lack daily bread, we experience that people long for more than just satiety, however vital it is to survival. The soul of man also demands food.
There are the cultural needs and above all the spiritual ones, even if some don’t want to admit it. Jesus knows about the desire for more. He sets a table for us with a food that gives us meaning and therefore life in abundance. The story of the wonderful bread multiplication stands for it. It is not about bread that we can buy, but the bread of life that is Jesus himself.
There are distributors. The disciples are intended for this ministry in the gospel. But these are pretty helpless in the face of the starving flocks in the desert. They only come up with the idea of asking Jesus to send people away. “Give them something to eat yourselves!” Jesus says to the disciples.
Even if they have little, five loaves and two fish, he asks the helpless helpers to do something with them. He takes care of the rest.
Jesus’ actions in the face of human misery are incredible. He takes what little there is and gives it to the hungry people with a fixed look at Heavenly Father. Miraculously, everyone is finally satisfied. Those who distribute the little they have will not get poorer. Those who overcome their anxiety and are not afraid of going broke in the end will have wonderful experiences of distributing help.
Jesus gave himself to people. For them it is the bread of life. In celebration of the Eucharist we receive this bread. Jesus’ dedication led to new life, to the resurrection. If we do not spare ourselves in the service to people, we will ultimately lose nothing, but only gain. Jesus says: “Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. ”(Mt 10:39).
The bread multiplication of Jesus is more than a historical moment. It still takes place. The people who long for satiety are still here. Jesus wants to satisfy their hunger. He continues the miracle. But he also needs us as distributors. Let us stand in this service wherever we see opportunities…