The Gospel story today is taken from the Gospel of St John, as will be the case for the next few weeks. It is the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand hungry people. It is the only miracle story that is recounted in all four Gospels. It is such an important story, obviously true, that every writer wanted to tell it.
Feeding hungry people is a sign of God’s gift of dignity to all human beings. Every human being has a right to live with dignity. Adequate food and nourishment enables people to live with dignity.
In today’s story Jesus is profoundly concerned about peoples hunger and basic needs so that God’s gift of dignity might be shared by them all.
Although the disciples in the story are overwhelmed and think it is impossible for the people to be fed, Jesus demonstrated that it is really possible if we share our limited resources.
Today is a day to reflect on human dignity and to understand that it is God’s will for every human being to have a dignified life. This is an issue of social justice and is at the very heart of the ministry of Jesus. Sharing the gifts we have, limited and all as they may be, with those who have less, is a basic principle of Christian living. Sharing with others is not based on the virtue or merit of the receiver. Rather it is based on their human right as a child of God. When everyone has shared not only is there enough food; there is more than enough.