“Then He [Jesus] commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the Disciple; and the Disciples gave them to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those that who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matt. 14: 14-22)
We all want to be fed, often not just the food that we want or need, but even more, for the things in life that seem to us will make us happy and satisfied. Christ did feed the multitude of over 5,000 people, but they had come out to a deserted place to hear Him for hours and even stayed when they had need of food, for they felt His Words were more important than even food and drink. These were regular people, and probably it was not a Sabbath day, as there were restrictions for travel on a Sabbath day in Biblical times. It was probably a regular day of work or labor. It was, to those who came to hear Him, even more important that their own work to feed their own family and their other needs beyond food. This was truly a sacrifice of great interest and love.
What about us?
Are we so interested in Christ that we are willing to forgo at times our just worldly obligations to hear God’s Word, or to go to Church on special Feast Days, or to listen to the Bible or Gospels or spiritual talks instead of the radio or television news or entertainment? These worldly people with families did so nearly 2,000 years ago and then, and only then, did He feed them physical food so they could stay with Him and hear some more. They stayed late, beyond a reasonable time, to hear Him, and so they saw this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. There were even 12 baskets of left-overs filled after everyone had eaten and was satisfied. Abundance was created when their hearts were open and ready made out of very, very little means through Christ Our Lord. May we stay late too, beyond a reasonable time, to hear Him, to love Him, and to be with Him here and then forever in the world to come. Amen.
The Monastics at St. Isaac of Syria Skete
and at the Convent of St. Silouan
and the Faithful at St. Nicholas Church
and the Staff at Orthodox Byzantine Icons and St. Isaac’s Bookstore