ROME, JULY 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- One day Jesus was on his way to a solitary place along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The Gospel of Matthew tells the story: “But when he disembarked he found that a large crowd was waiting for him. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
"When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, ‘This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.’
"Jesus said to them, ‘There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.’ But they said to him, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.’
"Then he said, ‘Bring them here to me,’ and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
"They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over -- twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.”
It was the most joyous picnic in the history of the world!
What does this Gospel tell us? First, that Jesus was worried and “his heart was moved with pity” for the whole man, body and soul. He distributes the word to the soul, and to the body he offers healing and food. You will say: So why doesn’t he still do that today? Why doesn’t he multiply bread for the many millions who are starving on the earth?
Read all of Father Cantalamessa's They All Ate and Were Satisfied - Gospel Commentary for 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time.