Faith and Family

Faith and Family for June 23: Loaves and Fishes


LK 9:11B-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”


by Father Greg Friedman, OFM

A liturgist and teacher whom I know speaks of a part of the Mass which gets the least emphasis in our Sunday celebration. It comes at the very end of Mass, as the priest blesses the assembly and dismisses it. This short ceremony is really a “commissioning.” We’re being sent out into the world, to put the whole meaning of the Sunday Eucharist into practical action in our lives.

Today’s feast—which commemorates Christ’s gift of himself in the Eucharist—has two Scripture selections which help us appreciate this “under-emphasized” part of the Mass. Listen to Saint Paul describe to the Corinthians how Jesus blessed and broke bread at the Last Supper, and then hear Luke’s Gospel tell the story of Jesus feeding the crowd. The Gospel speaks of “blessing and breaking” the loaves as well.

Could Luke have meant us to hear this story of Jesus feeding the hungry, and intended us to think about the meaning of Eucharist as well? How is Jesus the food that feeds our deepest hungers? And could that connection teach us what we’re commissioned to do at every Eucharist: to take its power into everyday life, where we’re called to feed others with both physical and spiritual food? Those are good questions to think about as we gather for Eucharist this weekend.


by Father Dan Kroger, OFM

  • This first reading is about Melchizedek who brought bread and wine as a gift to Abram. Then he blessed Abram in the name of God Most High. Why does this reading seem to fit today’s feast of the Body and Blood of Christ?

    Melchizedek praises God because God delivered Abram’s foes into his hand. How did Abram react to Melchizedek? What did Abram give to Melchizedek?

  • Saint Paul says, in the second reading, that he handed on to us what he received: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, told the apostles to celebrate supper in memory of what he did in giving his life for us. What is that meal now called?

    What is the connection between the Last Supper and today’s Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ?

  • The Gospel says that Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gave thanks and there was enough for 5,000 to eat. Plus, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers. Do you believe that happened?

    When your family celebrates Christmas and Easter is there a lot of preparation needed? How is a birthday party different from Mass?


by Susan Hines-Brigger

  • Have everyone in your family take turns offering a blessing before dinner each night. Instead of using the traditional prayers many of us know, such as “Blessed, O Lord, and these thy gifts . . . ,” offer one up that you have created on your own.
  • Bake something for a friend, family member, or neighbor and take it to him or her.

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