Chủ Nhật, 31 tháng 7, 2016

Words of gratitude for Pope, WYD participants and volunteers

Words of gratitude for Pope, WYD participants and volunteers

(Vatican Radio) World Youth Day 2016 “now goes down in history, but it will last in our hearts and bring rich fruits of faith, hope and charity throughout the Church and in the world.”
That was the message of the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, speaking at the end of the concluding Mass for the event.
Attributing everything to “the mercy of the Lord,” Cardinal Dziwisz thanked Pope Francis for his presence, and expressed his gratitude to all those who participated, and to all who assisted in making World Youth Day a success.
Below, please find our unofficial translation of Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz’  prepared marks at the concluding Mass for World Youth Day 2016:
Holy Father,
At this moment, when I would like to offer a word of thanks at the end of the Eucharistic celebration and World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, the words of the Psalmist:Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo — “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever” (cf. Ps 89 [88], 2) come spontaneously to mind.
We owe to the Lord’s mercy everything that we have experienced in these days. Young Christians from around the world met in Poland to bear witness to the joy of the Gospel.  They shared among themselves, and also with all of us, the enthusiasm of the faith which dispels the darkness of evil, suffering, and death; opens the horizon of hope; and shows us the path of love and service, the road that that leads to life.
We owe to the Lord’s mercy the fact that you, Holy Father, were and are with us. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your closeness. Thank you for your smile. Thank you for your father's heart.
We owe to the Lord’s mercy the fact that young people have spent these days peacefully and joyfully. Now they return to their countries, their families, to bring the spark of hope and mercy to the most distant corners of our turbulent world.
Thank you all for your participation in World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow. I thank all those who contributed to its organization. This event now goes down in history, but it will last in our hearts and bring rich fruits of faith, hope and charity throughout the Church and in the world.
Holy Father, thank you for everything. May the Lord grant you the strength to serve His Church. May you be assisted by the intercession of Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, patron saint of the day today, and St. John Paul II, the Pope of the youth and of Divine Mercy.


Cardinal Ryłko asks Pope Francis to send forth young pilgrims

Cardinal Ryłko asks Pope Francis to send forth young pilgrims

(Vatican Radio) At the end of the closing Mass for World Youth Day 2016, Polish Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, currently President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, had words of gratitude for Pope Francis. After thanking the Pope for choosing Krakow as the site for World Youth Day, Cardinal Ryłko said, “Now, at the end of these days spent in Krakow, with hearts full of joy, these young people want to express to you, Holy Father, their filial devotion and their profound gratitude.”
Cardinal Ryłko asked Pope Francis to send forth the young people as missionaries: “Holy Father, bless this people of disciples and missionaries of Christ. They are ready to go and bring the flame of his merciful love to the ends of the earth, symbolized by the torches that now you will now give to five young people from the five continents.
Below, please find our unofficial translation of Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko’s prepared remarks:
Holy Father!
The 31st World Youth Day is coming to an end. Before you there are crowds of young people gathered from the remotest corners of the planet. It is a beautiful image of a young Church, full of joy and missionary enthusiasm. Here, are the young people who have accepted your invitation to participate in this particular WYD, because it is combined with the celebration of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, in the name of the Gospel Beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5,7).
Thank you, Holy Father, for choosing Krakow as the place to celebrate this World Youth Day! It is the city that houses the Shrine of Merciful Jesus, the destination of many pilgrims from all over the world. It is also the city of the two great apostles of Divine Mercy: Saint Faustina Kowalska and Saint John Paul II, who have accompanied and guided young people during this World Youth Day.
Here in Krakow we experienced wonderful and unforgettable days. This WYD showed us mercy as the beating heart of the Gospel and Christianity, because Christianity and mercy are the same! Merciful Jesus, venerated in the Shrine of Lagiewniki, truly walked among us and his gaze filled with tender love has deeply touched our hearts. How many important decisions have matured in the young these days: the choice of a Christian marriage, the priesthood, or the consecrated life! The young people have experienced such joy being together as brothers, thus testifying to the world that it is beautiful to be a Christian, that following Christ in their lives is worth it!
Now, at the end of these days spent in Krakow, with hearts full of joy, these young people want to express to you, Holy Father, their filial devotion and their profound gratitude. Thank-you for presided over this World Youth Day! Thank you for the words you addressed to the young people, words that keep hope alive and give each person renewed courage.
Holy Father, it is now the moment of missionary sending. In August 2002, during the inauguration of the Shrine of Merciful Jesus right here in Krakow, John Paul II said: “You have to light this spark of God's grace. You have to transmit to the world the fire of mercy. In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness!” (Homily at the dedication of the Shrine of Krakow-Lagiewniki, 17 August 2002). Today, in this “field of mercy”, the Holy Pontiff’s words find their prophetic fulfillment! Today these young people, touched by God's mercy, return to their countries, as apostles and witnesses of mercy.
Holy Father, bless this people of disciples and missionaries of Christ. They are ready to go and bring the flame of his merciful love to the ends of the earth, symbolized by the torches that now you will now give to five young people from the five continents.
Thank you, Holy Father!



Archbishop of Panama welcomes WYD 2019

Archbishop of Panama welcomes WYD 2019

(Vatican Radio) The Archbishop of PanamaJosé Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, has welcomed with great enthusiasm the news that his archdiocese will host the 2019 edition of World Youth Day, and has already extended an invitation to youthful pilgrims from all around the world.
“I assure you that Panama has been blessed by Pope Francis,” he said. “From among the littlest, [Pope Francis] has chosen us to host the next [World] Youth Day 2019,” he said.
The Archbishop of Panama made the remarks and issued his invitation in a video released shortly after Pope Francis made the official announcement, at the end of the closing Massof the 2016 World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow, Poland.

AUGUST 01, 2016 : MEMORIAL OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 407

Reading 1JER 28:1-17
In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah,
in the fifth month of the fourth year,
the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon,
said to me in the house of the LORD
in the presence of the priests and all the people:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Within two years I will restore to this place
all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon. 
And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah,
son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the LORD,
‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”

The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah 
in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled
in the house of the LORD, and said:
Amen! thus may the LORD do!
May he fulfill the things you have prophesied
by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD
and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place!
But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing
and the hearing of all the people.
From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied
war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms.
But the prophet who prophesies peace
is recognized as truly sent by the LORD
only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled.

Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke
from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it,
and said in the presence of all the people:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so, within two years
I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
from off the neck of all the nations.’”
At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away.

Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke
from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah,
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:
Go tell Hananiah this: 
Thus says the LORD:
By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
A yoke of iron I will place on the necks
of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him.

To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said:
Hear this, Hananiah!
The LORD has not sent you,
and you have raised false confidence in this people.
For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth;
this very year you shall die,
because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.
That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.
R. (68b) Lord, teach me your statutes.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your ordinances is my hope.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let those turn to me who fear you
and acknowledge your decrees.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let my heart be perfect in your statutes,
that I be not put to shame.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Sinners wait to destroy me,
but I pay heed to your decrees.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
AlleluiaMT 4:4
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
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.”
He 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.


Meditation: Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes
What can truly satisfy our deepest hunger and longing? Wherever Jesus went multitudes of people gathered to meet him - people from every part of society - rich and poor, professionals and laborers, even social outcasts and pagans. What drew them to Jesus? Were they simply curious or looking for a healing? Many were drawn to Jesus because they were hungry for God. Jesus' message of God's kingdom and the signs and wonders he performed stirred fresh hope and expectation that God was acting in a new and powerful way to set people free from sin and oppression and to bring them the blessings of his kingdom.
God never rests in caring for our needs
Jesus never disappointed those who earnestly sought him out. We see a marvelous example of this when Jesus and his twelve disciples got into the boat to seek out a lonely place for some rest along the lake of Galilee, only to discover a crowd of a few thousand people had already gathered in anticipation of their arrival! Did Jesus' disciples resent this intrusion on their plan to rest awhile? Jesus certainly didn't - he welcomed them with open-arms. His compassion showed the depths of God's love and care for his people. Jesus spoke the word of God to strengthen them in faith and he healed many who were sick.
God multiplies the little we have to bring great blessing to others
As evening approached the disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away. Jesus, instead, commanded his disciples to feed the whole crowd. Why did Jesus expect his disciples to do what seemed impossible - to feed such a large and hungry crowd when there was no adequate provision in sight? Jesus very likely wanted to test their faith and to give them a sign of God's divine intervention and favor for his people. Jesus took the little they had - five loaves and two fish - and giving thanks to his heavenly Father, distributed to all until were satisfied of their hunger. Twelves baskets full of fish and loaves that were leftover show the overflowing generosity of God's gifts to us - gifts that bring blessing, healing, strength, and refreshment.
Bread from heaven to sustain us on our journey
Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Luke 9:10-17, Mark 6:34-44, John 6:51-58, Matthew 14:13-21). What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude recalled the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness under Moses' leadership and intercession for his people (Exodus 16). The daily provision of food for the people of Israel during their forty years of journeying in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would pass on to his disciples at his last supper meal on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross. Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience (John 6:32-35). The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper which sustains us on our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
God multiplies the little we have so we can bring his blessing to others
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God's provision for you and do you share freely with others, especially those who lack?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 81:16). Fill me with gratitude for your blessings and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Lord fills all things with blessing from above, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"So that by every means the Lord might be known to be God by nature, he multiplies what is little, and he looks up to heaven as though asking for the blessing from above. Now he does this out of the divine economy, for our sakes. For he himself is the one who fills all things, the true blessing from above and from the Father. But, so that we might learn that when we are in charge of the table and are preparing to break the loaves, we ought to bring them to God with hands upraised and bring down upon them the blessing from above, he became for us the beginning and pattern and way."  (excerpt from FRAGMENT 177)

MONDAY, AUGUST 1, MATTHEW 14:13-21
(Jeremiah 28:1-17; Psalm 119)

KEY VERSE: "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves" (v 16).
TO KNOW: In the Book of Exodus, Moses fed the hungry people in the desert with miraculous "manna" from heaven. The people were told not to hoard the bread, but to gather only enough for each day (16:15-30). On the sixth day, they were permitted to collect extra manna for the Sabbath day of rest. In the time of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah was expected to be a prophet like Moses (Dt 18:15) or Elisha who performed similar miracles (2 Kgs 4:42-44). In the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish in the wilderness, Jesus fed the people and there were twelve baskets of fragments remaining. After his death and resurrection, it would be the responsibility of the twelve apostles to feed God's people who gathered in the Eucharistic assembly on the Sabbath.
TO LOVE: What is my parish doing to feed the hungry?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, thank you for being my daily bread on life's journey.

Memorial of Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church 

Alphonsus Liguori was ordained at age 29. He was noted for his simple, clear style of preaching, and his understanding manner in the confessional. He was often opposed by Church officials for a perceived laxity toward sinners. He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Liguorians or Redemptorists). Alphonsus was appointed bishop in 1762, and worked to reform the clergy and revitalize the faithful in the diocese. In 1775 he resigned his office due to his health, and went into what he thought was a prayerful retirement. In 1777 the royal government threatened to disband his Redemptorists. Calling on his knowledge of theology, and his skills as a lawyer, Alphonsus defended the Redemptorists so well that they obtained the king's approval. Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871. 

Monday 1 August 2016

MON 1ST. St Alphonsus Liguori. Jeremiah 28:1-17. Teach me your laws, O LordPs 118(119):29, 43, 79-80, 95, 102. Matthew 14:13-21.
All the miracles that Jesus works in the Gospels reveal something about who he is in relation to God the Father. In feeding the 5,000 from a handful of loaves and fish, Jesus provides an insight into God's ability to take what seems insignificant and magnify it to reveal his glory. In the same way Jesus, a seemingly insignificant Jew from Nazareth, will provide spiritual nourishment for the multitudes through his crucifixion and resurrection. We have only to look at the saints like Mother Teresa and John Vianney for examples of how God works great things through those with seemingly meagre gifts by the standards of the world.
What personal gifts, no matter how small or insignificant, am I aware of that could be shared for the benefit of others? By offering these to God in prayer I allow God to magnify these gifts for the benefit of others.

MINUTE MEDITATIONS 
Stay Positive
Venting negative emotions, contrary to popular misconception, doesn’t ease them. Through mental rehearsal, it tends to aggravate them. It can convince the venter that life is the way she sees it, even if in reality it’s not. Writing down all of one’s upsets doesn’t generally help ease those upsets.

August 1
St. Alphonsus Liguori
(1696-1787)

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.
In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.
At the University of Naples he received, at the age of 16, a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular (parish) missions, hearing confessions, forming Christian groups.
He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted, after a while, by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.
Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples, preaching popular missions.
He was made bishop (after trying to reject the honor) at 66 and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.
His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but a royal official, with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.
At 71 he was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck; until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.
Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.


Comment:

St. Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a “practical” model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.
Quote:

Someone once remarked, after a sermon by Alphonsus, "It is a pleasure to listen to your sermons; you forget yourself and preach Jesus Christ."
Patron Saint of:

Theologians
Vocations

LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 14,13-21
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, August 1, 2016
Ordinary Time
 

1) Opening prayer
Father of everlasting goodness,
our origin and guide,
be close to us
and hear the prayers of all who praise you.
Forgive our sins and restore us to life.
Keep us safe in your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 14,13-21
When Jesus received this news of John beheading, he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the crowds heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.' Jesus replied, 'There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.' But they answered, 'All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.' So he said, 'Bring them here to me.'
He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples, who gave them to the crowds.
They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps left over, twelve baskets full. Now about five thousand men had eaten, to say nothing of women and children.

3) Reflection
• Context. Chapter 14 of Matthew which contains the account of the multiplication of the loaves, proposes an itinerary that guides the reader in a progressive discovery of faith in Jesus: from the lack of faith on the part of his fellow countrymen to the acknowledgment of the Son of God, passing through the gift of bread. The fellow citizens of Jesus marvelled at his wisdom but do not understand that this is what acts behind his works. Besides, having a direct knowledge of Jesus’ family, of his mother, of his brothers, and of his sisters, they only succeed in seeing in him his human condition alone: he is the son of the carpenter. Not being understood in his own home town, from now on, Jesus will live in the midst of his people, to whom he will give all his attention and his solidarity. Healing and feeding the crowds.
• The dynamic of the account. Matthew has carefully narrated the episode of the multiplication of the loaves. The episode is enclosed between two expressions of transition in which he tells us that Jesus withdrew “separated himself” from the crowds, from the disciples, from the boat (vv.13-14; vv. 22-23). Verse 13 does not only serve as transition but offers us the reason why Jesus went to a desert place. Such a device serves to create the environment in which the miracle takes place. The evangelist concentrates the account on the crowd and on the attitude of Jesus in regard to the crowd.
• Jesus was moved deeply to pity. At the moment when Jesus arrives he finds himself before a crowd awaiting him; in seeing the crowd he took pity on them and healed their sick. This is a “tired and depressed crowd for they were like sheep without a shepherd” (9, 36; 20, 34). The verb that expresses the compassion of Jesus is really meaningful: “Jesus’ heart was broken”; and this corresponds to the Hebrew verb that expresses the maternal visceral love. This is the same sentiment experienced by Jesus before the tomb of Lazarus (Jn 11, 38). Compassion is the subjective aspect of the experience of Jesus that becomes effective with the gift of the bread.
• The gift of the bread. The account of the multiplication of the loaves is opened with the expression, “when evening came” (v.15) that will introduce the account of the Last Supper (Mt 26, 20) and also that of the burial of Jesus (Mt 27, 57). In the evening, then, Jesus invites the Apostles to feed the crowd. In the middle of the desert, far away from the villages and from the cities, Jesus and the disciples find themselves before a very big human problem; to feed that the big crowd that follows Jesus. But they cannot take care of this task to provide for the material needs of the crowd without the power of Jesus. Their immediate response is that of sending the crowd back home. In the face of human limitations Jesus intervenes and works the miracle satisfying the hunger of all the people who follow him. To feed the crowd is the response of Jesus, from his heart which breaks in the face of a very concrete human need. The gift of the bread is not only sufficient to satisfy the crowd but it is so superabundant that it becomes necessary to gather what was left over. In v. 19b we can see that Matthew gave a Eucharistic significance to the episode of the multiplication of the loaves: “he raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing, and breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples”; the role of the disciples is also made evident in their function of mediation between Jesus and the crowd: “and the disciples distributed to the crowd” (v.19c). The gestures that accompany the miracle are identical to those that Jesus will fulfil later on the “night when he was betrayed”: he raised his eyes, blessed the bread and breaks it. From here comes the symbolical value of the miracle: it can be considered an anticipation of the Eucharist. Besides, on the part of Jesus, feeding the crowds is “a sign” that he is the Messiah and that he prepares a banquet of joy for the whole humanity. The disciples learn from Jesus, who distributes the bread to them, the value of sharing. A symbolical gesture that contains a real fact that goes beyond the episode itself and is projected on the future: in our daily Eucharistic celebration, where we relive that gesture of the broken bread, it is necessary that it be multiplied throughout the whole day.

4) Personal questions
• Do you try to fulfil gestures of solidarity toward those who are close to you or who share close to you the journey of life? In the face of very concrete problems of your friends or relatives, do you know how to offer your help and your availability to collaborate to find a solution?
• Before breaking the bread, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven: do you know how to thank the Lord for the daily gift of bread? Do you know how to share your goods with others, especially with the poorest?

5) Concluding Prayer
Keep me far from the way of deceit,
grant me the grace of your Law.
Do not deprive me of that faithful word,
since my hope lies in your judgements. (Ps 119,29.43)