The Return of the Twelve
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 22, 2018 - 12:00am

Today’s Sunday gospel is the sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. If you looked at the gospel reading today it comes from Mark 6:30-34 and if you opened it in Google you will see it titled “The Feeding of the Five Thousand”. But today’s title is “The Return of the Twelve” apostles after they fed the 5,000 people who went with them to Galilee. So let’s read today’s gospel reading.


“30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

“32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”

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If you read the entire passage, this happened at the end of the feeding of 5,000 who, after seeing and participating in this miracle, wanted more of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because the apostles fed so many people, they themselves didn’t have the time to eat. Hence the Lord told them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” The Lord meant for them to come on their own without any pilgrims.

If you read what has been written in all the gospels about this miracle you will immediately notice this was one miracle that Jesus did that is written or recorded in all the four gospels in the Bible which makes it very significant. If you recall that all the four gospel writers titled this miracle the Feeding of the Five Thousand, however if you did a headcount, it did not include women and children, who in ancient times were usually not officially counted. Simply put, the apostles fed more than 5,000 people.

Also we should take note that our Lord Jesus Christ could very well simply snap his fingers and the 5,000 or more people would each have a Jollibee Burger Steak in their laps, but that did not happen in this miracle. Rather, the Lord gave this mission of feeding the people to his apostles using only five barley loaves and two fishes, much in the same way 2,000 years later in today’s times, our Lord uses the clergy to feed the thousands who take Holy Communion in church during the Holy Mass.

To a devout Catholic, the Lord Jesus Christ, as he promised, is truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. But lest you have forgotten, it takes a priest to consecrate the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. So much in the same way, our Lord used his apostles to feed the 5,000, he uses the clergy to feed the millions of Catholics who go to Mass every Sunday.

If you didn’t read the gospel on the feeding of the 5,000 you may have failed to see that initially the apostles tried to end the teaching of our Lord as it was getting dark and they were in a deserted place where food was not available. If you remember that Philip in John 6:9 said that it would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to eat. Yet the apostles knew that they only had five barley loaves and two fish to distribute, which is why they participated in one of the greatest miracles that our Lord Jesus Christ performed.

Again I would like to remind you that the apostles fed more than 5,000 people. In short, Catholics should be reminded that our problems, no matter how great or enormous, is nothing when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to help us. If God could create the universe and all living things, then nothing is too small or too great for God to handle. All we need is to trust in the Lord.

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