Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
How often are we anxious about our life? All the time. We are anxious about what the future will bring and where our next meal will come from. We worry about what others think of us. We worry about how we will be remembered. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father will care for us, just as He cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:25-34). Our needs will ultimately be met, one way or another, through the Lord's provision.
In today's Gospel, Jesus provides a meal for thousands of people. Much more than this one meal, we see a wonderful signification of His identity as the giver of all life and nourishment, He provides us with a profound truth of everlasting value, eloquently captured by St. John.
When we are in Christ, we can 'recline'. We can cast our worries upon Him. We can relax and let go of the anxieties that drive us to all sorts of distress. If we can be confident in anything in this life, we can be more than confident that God will keep His promises. He will fill us and sustain us. Of course, this can sound like a platitude. Our cynical minds might cause us to either over or under spiritualize this teaching. But if we are honestly reflective, we can find more than enough occasions in our own life to test the truth of what Jesus says. The real challenge is whether we will cling to our own way or take the way provided by the Lord.
There is also a great deal of Eucharistic typology in the passage today. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and distributed it to the people. The people have food for the journey. Further, there was more than enough, for in Christ exists the unlimited reality of divine grace.
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