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A Note From Fr. Constantine
THE FEEDING OF THE 5000
In the Gospel story of feeding the 5000, (which was more like more than 20,000 if you include the women and children), with a mere five loaves of bread and two fish, we not only witness the power of God but see a prefiguring of the Church.
Jesus tells His Apostles to feed His sheep – a prefiguring of apostolic succession. Now, remember: He had just preached to them all day; so, this command was one of substance – they were hungry. Jesus multiplies the bread and fish and tells His Apostles to divide the multitude into manageable groups. Not only has everyone been fed, but there were 12 baskets left over, like an inexhaustible supply.
The groups represent the future Christian churches. The 5 loaves and two fish add up to 7; 5 stands for mankind and 2 stands for the 2 natures of Christ and so the combination is God’s number for completion. In other words, we are made complete in Christ Jesus.
How? By, not only receiving the written word of God, the scriptures, but by partaking of the living word of God in Holy Communion. Jesus uses much the same words when He blesses the five loaves and two fish as He did when He sanctified Bread and Wine, changing them to His Body and Blood at the last supper, so that “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks MY Blood has eternal life” John 6:54.
And at every Divine Liturgy, mere bread and wine are changed into Jesus’ glorified Body Blood, an inexhaustible supply.
We, who are His followers, are being transformed into His likeness as He becomes a part of us and we a part of Him! Glory Be to our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!