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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Are You Still Hungry?

Are You Still Hungry? 

A Reflection on Luke 9:11b-17
By: Larry T 
Homilists love the miracle of the multiplication of loaves because various sermons can be preached from it. First Jesus heals, then he nourishes. It speaks to Jesus’ compassion for the people. To some it means that God will always provide sustenance for His people. The five loaves and two fish add up to seven – the perfect number. The twelve wicker baskets might signify the twelve tribes of Israel. What meaning could the collection of the left over fragments have? This miracle also prefigures the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke we read, “They ate and were satisfied.” In John’s gospel it’s, “When they had had their fill.” Jesus provided the meal, and once the people feasted on it, they were satisfied. This is the only miracle that Jesus performed to appear in all four gospels.

11 The crowds, meanwhile, learned of this and followed him. He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured.
12 As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13 He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.” They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
14 Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of (about) fifty.”
15 They did so and made them all sit down.
16 Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
17 They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.
Lk 9:11-17 (N.A.B.) 

18 Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over — twelve wicker baskets full.21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
Mt 14:18-21 (N.A.B.) 

41 Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to (his) disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all.
42 They all ate and were satisfied.
43 And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish.
44 Those who ate (of the loaves) were five thousand men.
Mk 6:41-44 (N.A.B.) 

10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
12 When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.”
13 So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
Jn 6:10-13 (N.A.B.)  

The people consumed the miraculous meal that Jesus provided for them and they were satisfied and fulfilled. This event reminds me of my friend of Arliss, a resident of Happy Hollow Manor, an independent living facility. How old is she? I don’t know, but if your name is Arliss, you could be eighty or ninety something. She has decorated the white walls of her nicely furnished one-bedroom apartment with framed photographs of her late husband, children, grand-children, and great grand-children. Pictures aren’t just pictures, they are memories, and memories are a great comfort to her, something that she cherishes. One oak framed picture is of her children taken against the background of the farm. She has told us that when she looks at it, she can close her eyes and sometimes almost hear the livestock, and smell freshly cut hay. 

My wife and I are Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist. On the first Sunday of the month we take Holy Communion to the residents of Happy Hollow Manor. Sunday is the most important day of the week to Arliss. She always gets, as her husband used to put it, dolled up. Her wavy silver hair is always impeccably combed, her make-up is just so, and she usually accessorizes a nice print dress with her grandmother’s Victorian cameo gold brooch. She never fails to answer our door knock promptly and each time greets us with a wide smile. We always tell her how nice she looks. Following a bit of small talk, usually about the weather, and the prayer one of us will gently place the consecrated host on the palm of her farm-hardened outstretched hand. She will reverently consume it. Her face will radiate peace and joy. After a few minutes her eyes will open, “Pat and Larry thank you, thank you so much for bringing Jesus to me! Have a blessed day!” 

“Arliss, it’s a privilege to bring Holy Communion to you.” we respond. 

Since Arliss receives the Eucharist with the proper disposition, with reverence, gratitude, and humility, she is at once spiritually satisfied, nourished and strengthened. She doesn’t just endure a weekly obligation; she doesn’t patiently tolerate an interruption of her day; she doesn’t participate in a mindless act of repetition wanting to be somewhere else - reception of Holy Communion is the highpoint of her week. 

Even though Adam and Eve’s descendants (all of humanity) are in born in disunion with God, we have a powerful inborn longing to be in union with Him. This, often misinterpreted, nagging ache can’t be stilled with an eight-bedroom mansion, or a two-carat diamond ring, or the riches of Warren Buffett because the need to be in union with God is in the very center of our souls. 

Arliss radiates the inner peace, joy, and serenity that emanates from the Holy Eucharist because it enables her to approach unity with God. Every time we take Holy Communion to Happy Hollow Manor, Arliss teaches me the same lesson. A good start for us might be to try to recapture the reverence and wonder of our first Holy Communion.


  1. Very beautiful reflection, Larry!
    We all know a few "Arliss's" in our lives, and we would do well to imitate these saints in our preparation to receive the King.

    1. Deacon Paul,
      I appreciate your kind words! Thank you!

      There are saints in our very midst!


  2. Thanks, Larry. Your reflection is a wonderful reminder of how the Lord's Eucharistic Presence radiates and lifts up the lives of the faithful. When we approach the altar as empty, earthen vessels, we are filled to overflowing with His love, and bring our God to all creation.

  3. Bob,
    Thank you! I need to work more on being like Arliss.



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