Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rather than continuing with Mark’s version of the feeding of the five thousand we turn instead to John’s account. John reveals the full significance of the event and shows us that the miracle is not only a work of power but a sign pointing to realities of another order, a sign that address our whole being, our whole identity, and every aspect of our personhood. He went across the sea of Galilee. He climbed a mountain and sat with his disciples on the green grass. A crowd spontaneously gathered with him on the mountain across the sea. All aspects of a mysterious sign unfolding in the shadow of the Passover feast. The request to Philip is addressed to all of us today. Unleavened barley loaves used for the offering are multiplied. Twelve baskets of fragments are collected. There is more than Moses and manna here, more than Elisha. Can you hear the soft echoes of Eucharist resounding down the centuries? Can you sense Jesus drawing us all into unity? Will you withdraw with Jesus to the mountain when they seek to make him king? Will you sit with him and the Father on the green grass of the Spirit?