Today’s Reading: Luke 9:10-22
10 On their return the apostles told him what they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a city called Beth-saida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him; and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom ofGod, and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away; and the Twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.” 15And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And all ate and were satisfied. Andthey took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen.” 20 And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on thethird day be raised.”
Apart from the Resurrection, the multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle recounted in all four Gospels (Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Jn 6:1-13). It recalls previous miracles from the OT and foreshadows the sacramental miracle of theEucharist. It also connects with a larger theme in Luke where Jesus describes God’s kingdom as a great feast (13:29-30; 14:7-14, 15-24). This messianic banquet is celebrated first at the Last Supper (22:14-23) and later in heaven (Rev 19:7-9).