Out of compassion the idea of feeding the crowds came into being. Actually it is the nature of God's love for mankind. God is the God of compassion and love who is rich in mercy and slow to anger. We recall that the massive crowd gathered to listen to Jesus for their spiritual nourishment. Towards the end of the day Jesus told the apostles to feed the crowd. Knowing that it was beyond their capacity to act the apostles proposed the idea of sending the crowds to nearby villages and farms for food. It was out of generosity and kindness Jesus fed the crowd. The Gospel of St John 6, 6 records that Jesus knew exactly what he was going to do but only asked the apostle Philip to feed the crowd to test him. The feeding of the five thousand was the initiation of the establishment of the Eucharist which Jesus was going to establish the Eucharist at the Last Supper. The Eucharist was the gift of God's Real Presence for us. Jesus desires to stay with us and the Eucharist satisfies His aspiration. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist Jesus is present amongst us in his word, in the bread and wine and in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The fish and the loaves used for the miracle symbolize the goodness of the earth and of our sweat and labour in the celebration. At the Last Supper Jesus transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. At the Eucharist we bring the offering in the form of bread and wine and after the consecration the power of God transforms that bread and wine to become the real Body and Blood of Jesus. The three actions Jesus did at the consecration were the act of giving thanks to God and breaking and sharing of bread served as a reminder. The giving thanks to God reminds us that we need to give heartfelt thanks to Jesus for dying for us and His desire to be with us daily. The breaking of bread reminds us that our live, like Jesus, must be broken for others. It is a life of willing and self-sacrificing by sharing God's love and gifts for everyone. It also reminds us that every time we eat and drink we need to give thanks to God and remember to help people who are hungry for food and thirsty for clean water. The sharing of the bread and cup reminds us that we are united in Christ and it is our mission to bring others to unite with Jesus.
The Eucharist makes God's love and generosity in a concrete way. In the Eucharist Jesus is so generous that he gives us, not just a part of His Body but His whole Body, unpreserved. Jesus is so generous that He allows us to combine our imperfections with His perfect sacrifice in offering to God. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we must give thanks to God for His goodness shown through the fruit of the earth. We celebrate the sacrifice Jesus makes to us, turning His Body and Blood to feed our souls and we celebrate our own contribution to the Eucharist. At the Eucharist we meet all three persons of God. Jesus offers Himself to God the Father and the Spirit transforms the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus to nourish our souls and always be with us on our mission as He has promised.