The good news of the multiplication of bread is one of those events that has forever etched in the memory of the Church. We will never tire of listening wonder what happened that afternoon, the narrative of this “unprecedented gesture” of Jesus. It was a party, a humble feast, a celebration of faith. Humble because there was only bread and fish, but so overabundant that aroused the wonder, faith, the pleasure of sharing the same table and feel united in this bread … We can not imagine people differently based surprised that the bread and sharing full of joy with your neighbors.
The memory of the multiplication of the loaves (along with the Wedding at Cana) has been at the heart of the gospel as the disproportion. What came out of the hands of the Lord that was a waste of blessed bread: the five loaves became five thousand. The disproportion was beyond all human calculation, this calculation “realistic”, almost mathematical, leading to the disciples to say with skepticism unless we are buying to feed all these people. There overabundance: all ate and were satisfied. And to waste: leftovers collected twelve baskets. A wasteful not lost anything, so different from the outrageous extravagance to which we usually some rich and famous.
The Gospel message is clear, transparent, warm and clear: where Jesus is human proportions disappear. And, paradoxically, the disproportion of God is human (more realistic, simpler, truer, more realizable) our calculations. The disproportion of God is realistic and feasible because the warmth of the bread looks inviting to be shared and not the coldness of money seeking the solitude of the deposits.
The miracle of the loaves is nothing magical solution. In the midst of it is the same with Jesus handed. A Jesus that is distributed and delivered himself into each pan, a Jesus who widens his table, which he shared with his friends, and makes room for all the people, a Jesus who is all-powerful with the bread and fish. How beautiful it is to look for signs humble, little things that Jesus works: water, wine, bread and fishes! With these humble things the Lord is omnipotent. His hands are comfortable blessing and breaking bread. I dare to say that the Lord overflows only those gestures you can do with your hands: bless, heal, caress, hand, shake hands and lift, wash the feet, showing sores, wound left … The Lord has no excesses verbal or grand gestures. Jesus wants to be powerful breaking bread with your hands.
The gesture of the Lord is an “unprecedented gesture” because his miracle better spent on something as fleeting as a lunch of bread and fish. Jesus bet on the strength of the elemental and the everyday. The gesture of Jesus is an “unprecedented gesture” because it is a powerful gesture of using mediation of humble service of their own hands with the hands of all. The miracle of the loaves was a miracle performed ecclesiastically by all who were sharing their bread.
This miracle of disproportion, a nice picture to take today in the heart is the hands. The celebration of the feast of Corpus hands: the hands of the Lord and of our hands. Of those “sacred hands” of Jesus, wounded hands, which continue to bless and distributing the bread of the Eucharist. And those hands ours, needy and sinful, extending humble and open to welcome with faith the body of Christ.
May the divine bread transform our empty hands in hands full with this measure “pressed down, shaken together and running over” promised by the Lord who is generous with his talents. That the weight of the Eucharist sweet leave your mark in our power to love that, anointed by Christ, become hands that receive and contain the weakest. The heat of the consecrated bread in our hands burn with the desire effective sharing such a great gift to those who hunger for bread, justice and God. May the tenderness of communion with Jesus that is put in our hands unreservedly a true “unprecedented gesture”, we open the eyes of the heart to hope to become present to the God who is “every day with us,” and we accompanied on the road.
I ask Mary, who prophesied the multiplication of the loaves in the Magnificat to God when he announced that “displays the strength of his arm …, fills the hungry and sends the rich away empty”, intercede with her Son to once again look to love our people that need to make an “unprecedented gesture”. She asks Jesus stood in the midst of us, which we go again banging their hands the bread of the Eucharist to commune with Him and learn to share as brothers. Then our hands palpated the disproportion of God and be inspired to amass that “unprecedented gesture” generosity inspire us and get us out of despair.
Buenos Aires, June 16, 2001.