Ordinary Time Week 18: Sunday

“... 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.” (Matthew 14:19)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“They are ordered to sit down on the grass and, according to another Evangelist, to recline in groups of hundreds and of fifties. In this way from the repentance of the fifty, they ascended toward the perfect summit of one hundred. He looked up to heaven that he might teach them to keep their eyes focused there. He then took in hand five loaves of bread and two fish; he broke the loaves and gave the food to the disciples. By the breaking of the bread, he makes it into a seedbed of food—for if the bread had been left intact and not pulled apart and broken into pieces, they would have been unable to feed the great crowds of men, women and children. The law with the prophets are therefore pulled apart and broken into pieces. Mysteries are made manifest, so that what did not feed the multitude of people in its original whole and unbroken state now feeds them in its divided state.” (Commentary on Matthew, 2)

Draw near to Your servants, O Lord,
and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,
that, for those who glory in You
as their Creator and guide,
You may restore what You have created
and keep safe what You have restored.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen