Today’s Gospel Text: After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiber’i-as. 2 And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:1-15
Reflection: The Christian life is always a testing because our God tests us so that we prove our faith and are disciplined in his ways.
In other words, He does it so that we may not be losers of the eternity which he has prepared for those who trust him; for trusting in his promises we gain an entry into the eternal life which he has prepared for us.
This may sound rather negative but we should never forget that the God who tests us will never test us beyond our means and never do so unless he has given us a taste of his goodness and love, which includes his holy grace. (cfr. I Cor. 10:13)
In the gospel we see Jesus testing the faith of the disciples to see how much they have learned from him and how much they will endure the test of faith and what actions they will take, whether in faith or will their actions be based on pure human reasoning’s.
There are many prominent figures in the scriptures that experienced a testing of their faith and thus may be the turmoil and struggle thereof; one such was Abraham. Thus he received the blessings and became the father of many nations on account of his steadfast faith.
We have Job as another wonderful example of such testing and he never really gave up on his belief in God: “… the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
The letter to the Hebrew, in the eleventh chapter gives us a list of all the Old Testament characters that endured all things and did not give up on their faith in spite of all odds.
In the Gospel passage we see clearly see that when Jesus tests us, he does it so that we may grow through learning.
Prayer: Lead us not to the test but deliver us from all evil.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us