July 25 2021
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
If for the disciples the little they have is equivalent to nothing and not being able to do anything, for Jesus it is something that can still be shared.
The sign of the loaves concludes in John with an invitation to the disciples to collect, or, better, “to gather” the leftover bread. Jesus gives himself as bread to gather us in unity, because true life is a life of communion, in him, with the Father, among us. St Paul understands this well, reminding the Ephesians that behaving in a manner worthy of the call received means letting oneself be gathered in unity by the one God and Father of all. The bread we share is a bread of communion, because life is truly such when it lives in the breath of communion. However, the gesture made by Jesus announces a second fundamental thing: this communion is generated by an attitude of gift and sharing. The little bread and the little fish, which in the eyes of the disciples is “nothing” in the face of the need of the people, for Jesus is something that in any case can be broken, offered, shared. In this way he invites us to take a different look with which to look at our limits even at personal ones. If the little, or the limit, is kept for itself, it becomes sterile; if it is offered, it releases a surprising fruitfulness. «What is this for so many people?» Asks Andrea. Jesus asks us a different question: what do you do with the little you have? Do you hold it selfishly for yourself or do you share it with hope and generosity?
Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey