John 6:30-34

Jesus sees the crowd that comes to him, This means complete adhesion to the faith.

Jesus addressed Philip: How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?: There is not any doubt that Jesus’ question may be interpreted as ignorance. Philip answered a laborer’s salary for two hundred days of work is not enough. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother found a lad who has five barley loaves and two fish”: The lad is really a small child: someone with no social standing and barley is bread for poor people.

Jesus commands that they “lay down” or to “stretch out”: the meal has to be eaten in comfort, just as it is prescribed for the ritual meal of the Passover and as of obligation in banquets. “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them…so also the fish”: These actions and words of Jesus are very close to those of the eucharistic rite, “When he had given thanks” is a translation of eucharistein, As presider at the ritual Passover table, Jesus personally breaks the bread and gives it directly to the people. In the same way he will do this at the last supper.

The disciples appear on the scene with the task of not letting any of the precious bread go to waste. So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves.  These words want to emphasize again the great abundance of food from those small barley loaves blessed by Jesus. John gives for the miracle the “sign” significance. Contrary to the other Evangelists, John gives the reason for Jesus’ sudden disappearance after the miracle: he wanted to prevent that his role as Messiah might be “fouled” by political manifestations by the crowd.

~Fr. Chesco