The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday of the Second Week of Easter is John 6:1-15.

Christ withdraws by boat across the Sea of Galilee to a deserted place to mourn John the Baptist’s murder (Matt 14:1-12) and He is followed by a large crowd on foot. Though He desires to be with the Father in solitude, Christ is moved by the large crowd who have walked long distances to be near Him. Christ’s history-changing action by Feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle of Christ’s earthly ministry recorded in all four Gospels; when women and children are included, the count of those fed is much higher.

While the miracle of feeding thousands of people astounds, Christ’s action is much greater than simple feeding. Christ is testing and forming the Apostles, revealing their own inadequacy and preparing them to be leaders of Church. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Christ previews the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday when He blesses and distributes bread to the 5000.

Responding to Christ’s test (“How are we to buy bread…”), Philip or Andrew do not look to Christ to provide, but focus on lack of money and food. Christ draws the 12 Apostles to Himself and takes charge. After instructing for the Apostles to seat the crowd, Christ gives thanks for the bread (a prefigurement of the Eucharist) and directs the Apostles to distribute the bread and fish, allowing them to mediate His Grace to mankind as they distribute the bread to the multitude. Christ seers the miracle into the minds of the 12 Apostles when He requires each of them to each fill a basket with the leftovers. Christ rejects the grateful crowd’s attempt to make Him a political king.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Mercy, Christ relieves the hunger of the multitude.  Divine King and the Greatest Leader, Christ forms His apostles through participation in the miracle.  Son of Man, Christ feels emotions deeply, particularly compassion for the suffering. Divine Priest, Christ’s replays the feeding of Israel with manna, previews the Eucharist and initiates the Apostles into priesthood.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Over thousands of years of Salvation History, God deliberately prepares mankind to receive the Eucharist; providing manna during the Exodus, putting in place the sacrificial system with the “show bread” in the Temple, the Feeding of the 5000, the Last Supper and Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. Be awed.

2) As Christ tests even His Apostles, so too does Christ allow every man to be tested. During Easter, renew your understanding of how men are tested (CCC 2847, 901, 1820, 1808) and pray for Christ to fortify you in the great pilgrimage of Catholic manhood.

3) When Christ tests the Apostles at the Feeding of the 5000, they fail to look to Christ to provide. During Easter, reflect on the importance of Trusting in God (CCC 215, 304, 2086, 2828, 2861) and pray for Christ to give you the grace to completely trust Him in all things.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries