Feeding the Multitude
In St. Matthew’s gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves, our Lord preached to the multitude who followed after Him. Deeply touched by their fidelity, He blessed the loaves and fishes that satisfied all and caused 12 baskets to remain over.
This was not an isolated incident that occurred in history but a dynamic reality that is ever occurring until this day. At every Divine Liturgy, Christ Himself satisfies us with His Body and Blood in all places throughout the world.
St. John Chrysostom says: “Christ gave them nothing more than loaves and fishes, setting the same food before all and making it common to all. He afforded no one more than another in order to teach them temperance, charity and to be of like mind one towards another, and to account all things common.”
The disciples came to Christ, interceding on behalf of the crowd, lest they faint on the way due to lack of food – just as in the Church, the clergy supplicate on behalf of God’s people by offering their concerns on the altar. Our Lord then asks them to offer from the little they have in order that He may bless it – therefore, each believer offers to God the little they have that God may bless it in abundance.
St. John Chrysostom also explains that Christ gave thanks before multiplying the loaves and fishes in order to teach us to pray before meals.
Christ gave the bread to the disciples to distribute rather than the multitudes to help themselves in order to instruct these who were to be the teachers of the world.