(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
Everywhere Jesus walks, people gather to listen to him speak about the Kingdom of God. They have never heard anyone speak the way he does. They wonder about him. Who is he? They know his name is Jesus, but still, they wonder. They want to know more. In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus does not tell them more.
He shows them.
On this day, a large number of people has gathered to listen to Jesus.
Jesus spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
What a wonderful day they have had! They have listened to him speak about the Kingdom of God, and those who have been sick have been made well.
No more sickness. Everyone well.
A good day.
The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.”
The twelve—Jesus' friends—worry about the people. They know that everyone is getting hungry and tired. They are way out in the country, away from homes and shops. There is nowhere nearby to get food. They want Jesus to send the people back to the towns so that they can get food and find somewhere to rest.
But Jesus says,
“You give them something to eat.”
The twelve are a little confused. Maybe Jesus did not understand. They want the people to go away to find food for themselves. They tell Jesus,
“We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men.
Five thousand? That is a very large amount of people. That is a crowd.
The twelve do not know how to feed all these people. They do not have enough food.
How many people will five loaves of bread feed?
Not five thousand.
How many people will two fish feed?
Not five thousand. Not five hundred. Not even five.
Everyone will be hungry.
But Jesus says,
“Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did so and made them all sit down.
The people sit down on the ground. Is this a picnic? They must wonder what is going to happen. Where is the food?
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
What is Jesus doing? He takes the food into his hands and looks up to heaven. Who is he looking up to?
Jesus knows something about God. We wonder what he knows.
Jesus' friends begin to pass the food out to the crowd of people sitting on the ground. How many people will get to eat before the food runs out? How many people will stay hungry?
all ate and were filled.
All?? All the people eat? All five thousand people eat and are filled up! No one is hungry! There is enough food! A great day.
But that is not all.
There is more.
(There is always more 😉)
What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Left-overs? There is food left over?
Jesus' friends thought there would not be enough food, but when they place it in Jesus' hands, it becomes enough and more than enough.
More than enough? That is called abundance!
Everything they need for a full tummy, everything they need for a full life.
What has Jesus done?
Jesus has shown them who he is. He comes that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Jesus has shown them what the Kingdom of God is like—everyone has enough and more than enough. Everything they need for fullness of life.