.- Jesus Christ’s miraculous multiplication of the loaves shows that he offers “fullness of life for hungry man,” Pope Francis said Sunday. He encouraged everyone to offer what little they have to God so that God can multiply their gifts and good deeds.
“Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God,” the Pope said in his remarks before the Angelus July 26.
“The powerful mercy of God acts in Him,” the Pope said, adding that God’s mercy heals every evil.
Pope Francis reflected on the Sunday reading from the Gospel of John in which a vast crowd follows Jesus, but lacks enough food to eat.
In seeking to feed the crowd, Jesus’ disciple Philip calculated that there was not enough to feed them all. The Pope said this shows the disciples reasoning in terms of the market. Jesus, however, substitutes the logic of buying with “another logic: the logic of giving.”
While one boy could give five loaves and two fishes, these appear not to be enough to feed the crowd. Jesus took them, gave thanks to God and distributed them. There was enough food left over to fill twelve baskets.
This miracle anticipates the Last Supper, the Pope noted, in which “the bread of God is Jesus himself.”
In making Communion with Jesus, Pope Francis said, “we receive his life in us and we become children of the heavenly father and brothers with each other.”
“We meet with Jesus really alive and risen!” he said.
“To participate in the Eucharist means to enter into the logic of Jesus, the logic of gratuitousness, of sharing,” he explained. Communion allows Christians to draw from Christ the grace which makes them capable of sharing with others what they have.
Pope Francis encouraged Christians to draw from the example of the boy who gave so little food, which ended up feeding thousands.
“In the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people, what can we do?” the Pope asked. “Complaining does not solve anything, but we can offer what little we have. We certainly have a few hours of time, some talent, some expertise.”
“Who among us does not have his or her ‘five loaves and two fish’?” he continued. “If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, we will bring a little more love into the world a bit ‘more love, peace, justice and joy. God is able to multiply our small gestures of solidarity and make us partakers of his gift.”
After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis appealed for the release of the Italian Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio. The priest was kidnapped in Syria almost two years ago. He also remembered everyone else in captivity, especially the Greek and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo who were kidnapped in Syria in 2013.
“With affection and participation in their suffering, we want to remember them in our prayers,” he said, voicing a prayer to the Virgin Mary.
On Sunday Pope Francis also opened registration for World Youth Day 2016. Flanked by a young man and a young woman, he became the first registrant for the global Catholic youth event by clicking on an iPad.
The Pope invited all the youth of the world to Krakow, calling it a “moment of grace” for their communities.