Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Today’s Gospel: John 6:1-15

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” (vs. 9)

I was quite fortunate to have a sabbatical in 2015, and even more blessed to be able to spend it in Barcelona with my family. One of the most satisfying things about this time was being able to soak up art and architecture, often in churches, as I wandered the city. I am a visual person, so this was part of my daily routine (as was a siesta). On Easter Sunday, the priest of the 14th century Basilica of Saints Justus and Pastor gave us a tour of a private chapel with this painting hanging in it. This depiction of the Feeding of the 5000 forever changed the way I think about this passage.

Look at that boy! Look at his smile! Did he realize he was an agent in one of Jesus’ greatest displays of divinity? Did he even know who Jesus was? Was he awestruck, or just happy to be present? I’d like to think that he knew his small gift of bread and fish saved the day, and that this brought him happiness. Can you imagine him telling his buddies what went down that day at the beach?

And so I ask: In your life, are you trying to do well or do good? Some of us make out like bandits on the backs of others (well, well!) while others sacrifice what little they have to do good. What small gift can you offer up to the universe—or just to your neighbor today that will put a smile on both your faces?

Asking humbly,

Eyes of Jesus look upon them. Lips of Jesus speak to them. Hands of Jesus bless them. Arms of Jesus enfold them. Feet of Jesus come to them. Heart of Jesus pour your love upon them. (Source unknown, 2000 Years of Prayer, Compiled by Michael Counsell, pg. 585)