April 12, 2103

The Gospel for Today

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Jn. 6: 1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino Volante)

As I was doing this reflection, I can’t help but ponder (or God wants me to ponder) on the last part of the gospel where it is written that, “Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.”

The gospel for today speaks about generosity, and the last verse teaches us about respect. Jesus left the people when he found out that they will make him king. If I were Jesus, I would have grabbed the opportunity to be popular! Who does not want to be powerful and have authority over people?! I must admit, I once want to be an “artista” because of all the perks and all the privileges and fans associated with being one, and the most important of all is I can have my PA, someone who could help me in my personal needs. But in our gospel for today, Jesus knows that on this earth, there is someone God has assigned to rule and look over the land, the kings and emperors of that time. Jesus is teaching us in the value of respect for authority. If we read the bible, God did not impose his authority with regards to the law of man. Jesus himself said “Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s…” Jesus humbled himself and became one of us, even to the point of obeying the laws of man. Respect begets respect, and Jesus is teaching values to us by following the orders made by man. As they say, you practice what you preach.

Just like Jesus, we are being challenged to respect and balance the laws given by God and the laws given by men. The laws given by God are laws that keep our soul in order, while the laws given by man are laws that keep our nation at peace.

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