In this Gospel passage resonates with emphasis a word, full of nuances for us, “the crowd” begins by saying that the Lord “spoke to the crowd about the Kingdom of God.”
After have slipped away from those who wanted to stone him, the Lord has gone to talk to the common people. Often the Gospel shows us Jesus in the midst of the people, it was a “great crowd of people” and the Lord spoke to them at length, the cure, include them, was chosen from among them his apostles, who sent his time, to be in the middle of that crowd.
Today I want to stop to contemplate with you the special relationship of Jesus with the crowd. People will still and listens because he feels differently speaks with the authority that gives the authentic and consistent, not having double messages or disingenuous. There is joy and rejoicing when they hear the Master. God blesses people when Jesus speaks because his speech all-inclusive, personalized and makes the people of God. Have you noticed that only the scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus branded as hypocrites, always ask “who do you say that?” “Do you mean for us?” “Look at that in saying this we also offend us”. People do not ask that question, nay, want, want, that the Word is for them. He knows it’s a word that does well, that says “this is for me”, that word heals, improve it, clean … Curiously, while some despise the Lord to speak in parables, people drink his parables and transmitted by word of mouth, get all the content and style of Jesus. I was hungry for that new word, gospel thirsty, thirsty for the Word of God.
Following the Lord that afternoon, the crowd inside with him in the open, without looking either in time or in distance. There is concern of the disciples: “Dismiss the crowd”, to which Jesus immediately retorted with: “You feed them.”
At that time, when eating, the crowd no longer anonymous and becomes for the calculation of the disciples in “about five times a thousand men.” Jesus says, “Have them sit in groups of up to fifty people.” Actually the Lord used an expression like saying “in tables” of fifty people. (“Klisias” is “a group bed where you lie down to eat”). Tables fifty guests, amid which the food is placed, of which all are serving.
This table is already an image of the Kingdom. Jesus uses the parable again vigilantes servers waiting for their master to return from the wedding. To those who are watching, Jesus says that “he will gird himself and make them recline at the table and, going from one to the other, the will”.
Begins to work here inclusive force of the Eucharist, which turns the crowd into groups of communities, which gives the extent that you can share the bread.
And there is yet a third mention of the crowd. When well organized, in that familiar human measure, which transforms a peer group community, then yes the Lord takes the five rolls and two fish, and looking up to heaven bless them, and the part is giving the disciples to serve the crowd.
That crowd and a crowd is transformed, personalized, familiar. This community is the area happens blessing and miracle. In this community all enough for everyone, and plenty: “ate their fill and gathering what was left of the fragments, they filled twelve baskets.”
Again Jesus in our midst-crowd urges us get organized in communities as bread. Get organized and do in their senior centers, soup kitchens in schools, in homes of transit, neighborhood parties, working in cooperatives, in Caritas, parishes.
That will give the measure “which can share the bread”.
Get organized so you do not need to count on children or the elderly, because they are included and where eating holding home.
Sadly the current statistics speak separately from children and the elderly, because they also speak of “unemployed individuals.” The numbers are different from the Lord: he points to community and solidarity, he sees “fifty tables”, groups of family and friends, as they meet at parties, in religious celebrations … there part of the Lord to organize your community, your church. Hence we must start to organize the parish, district and country.
Only Jesus sees us well. Only the living bread has the power to unite so the crowd. Only the strength of his death on the Cross to become bread is able to convert crowds Communities. And we ask:
Lord give us always this bread!
We want to be a community that shares the bread that you bless and repartís.
We want to be a community that organizes your style, to allow you to serve us and transform us.
We do not eat our bread alone: neither faith, nor the work.
We do not “dismiss” the multitudes who, when summoned, and you want to seek you, sometimes even without knowing it.
We do not accept resigned statistics already given by so many of our brothers discarded.
We welcome you and share you follow and everyone “in your table fifty”.
We want to be communities living in this force that gives the Eucharist, to proclaim with our lives rather than words, the truth of the Gospel that is important because it speaks of a beyond individualism, of a Kingdom that is already in our midst when got together to break bread in your name, Lord.
Our mother, Mary, who realizes when missing the wine, the wine that is the joy and hope that summons “fifty tables” that wine is festive and gives meaning to all the rest of the work and effort, we ask that your mother’s heart makes us feel and live in the community’s Living Bread and Wine New His Son gave us and now we worship and celebrate with fervor.
Buenos Aires, June 12, 2004.
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.