February 16, 2021

[Jesus] said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Many wonder what the disciples were supposed to understand. Jesus had just fed crowds on both sides of the Lake of Gennesaret with a few loaves and fish. On the Jewish side, there were twelve baskets left over; on the Gentile side, seven. This seven corresponds to the seven Greek-speaking disciples chosen to minister to the Greek-speaking Christians (see Acts 6:1-7). In other words, all the early ministers of the church were left with a basket of food.

In the boat, Jesus doesn’t ask about the miraculous feeding. He asks about how much was left over. What were they going to do with all that food? The leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod was self-centeredness and lack of real concern for others. When Jesus feeds us, there is always enough for others. If God’s people are not being fed these days, it may be because we hoard his blessing for ourselves instead of sharing them with others. That’s what we are supposed to understand.

It is in the Eucharist that Christ feeds us. We are enriched by the power of God’s word in the Scriptures and fed at the table of Christ’s flesh. Jesus satisfies all our needs. But these blessings are not meant to be hoarded but to flow out from us to feed a hungry world. Sharing at the Lord’s table is meant not only to nourish us but to transform us so that we become more Christ-like in mind and heart, enabling us to empathize with others and allow their need and pain to touch our hearts the way they did the heart of Christ.

How can I feed another today?

Let Us Pray:

O Jesus, I know that each day you nourish me with yourself. Grant that I may have the desire to share your blessings with others.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.