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The Good News for the day, July 29, 2018 The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (110) Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee from his home base. A great many people were following Him because they had seen the importance of what He was doing for sick people. Jesus went up on the slope looking down on the sea; there He sat down with his closest followers. (The Jewish feast of Passover was coming up.) When Jesus looked up and realized the size of the crowd moving towards Him, He turned to Philip, "Where can we ever buy enough food for them to eat?" (He was saying this to test him; He himself knew perfectly well what he was going to do.) Philip answered him, "A year’s wages for food wouldn’t be enough for everybody to have even a crumb." One of his followers—Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother—told Jesus, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and a couple of fish—but what good are these little bits for so many people?" Jesus said, "Get the people to sit down." (Now there was extensive grass where they were; so, they found places, roughly five thousand adult men.) Then Jesus took the loaves, said a prayer of thanks, then distributed them to the people who were ready to –along with as much fish as they wanted. When the crowd had had enough, Jesus told his followers, "Gather up the leftovers—so that nothing gets wasted." So, they collected the pieces, filling a dozen wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves—leftovers that people couldn’t eat. When people saw the extraordinary act Jesus had just done, they said, "This must be the ‘Prophet’—who is to come down into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were intending to carry him off to make him their ruler, he went away again to the highlands—by Himself alone. (John 6) We have no idea how this miracle occurred in fact. On one hand, the God-Jesus just magically created more and more bread loaves; on the other hand, the human Jesus got the people to share with one another, and the sharing brought out the generosity and care that makes people into a community. No one knows—and we might accept both, and let it go at that. One point the Gospel writer makes, though, is that the people were so impressed by the external food-result that they wanted an external political-result—to make him a “king.” They had missed the point (as you and I do). The point is the generosity of God—that, whether by miracle or humankind, we depend on gifts of creation—gifts of the spirit to appreciate, along with things like the kindness of strangers, sharing, and forgiveness –no material, political, temporary fix, but something in your heart, your soul! That—THAT—is the Good News, the nourishment that counts—and changes you.