(17th Sunday in Ordinary time)
First Reading for this Sunday Mass sets the stage for the Gospel scene of the 6th Chapter of John;s Gospel. Elisha’s story is the story of God satisfying the physical hunger of one hundred men, using Elisha as an instrument. It is paralleled by Jesus’ miraculous feeding of five thousand in the Gospel. Elisha’s story is thus a preparation for the New Testament miracle. Both points to the superabundant food that is the Eucharist.
Both miracles are a sign of God’s providential care for us, not only our physical needs, but for our deepest spiritual yearnings as well. It comes very much with an Eucharistic overtone, which is what the Sixth Chapter of John’s Gospel is about. We are reminded in a powerful way in the readings that ultimately it is God alone who provides for our needs, and satisfies our hunger. It is God alone who is the answer in a world fragmented by the effects of material and spiritual starvation.
In the Eucharist, we have the bread that satisfies our true hunger: God Himself. And it is God Himself who provides it.
God bless, Fr Michael