GOSPEL (John 6:1-15) 
At that time, After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there he sat with his disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" And this he said to try him: for he himself knew what he would do.Philip answered him: "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: "There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes. But what are these among so many?" Then Jesus said: "Make the men sit down." Now, there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: "Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost." They gathered up therefore and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: "This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world." Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountains, himself alone.


When a Schoolmaster hath given his scholars, that are of one form, as they call it, a lesson; he cometh unto them after a convenient time, and demand first of one some question, to try whether he understood it or no; if not, he asketh another, & another; if they understand not, he repeateth it unto them again just so did Christ here demand of S. Phillip, one of his scholars or disciples, having read them a lesson of many miracles, which they had seen Christ do before what was to be done for feeding all that multitude of mouths in the wilderness, where nothing was to be had, trying him, as the text saith whether he understood his former lesson or no. 

That which he should have answered was this. 

Lord, I have seen you do many miracles heretofore, and one, to wit turning water into wine, was, that there wanting wine at a marriage, the guests might have to drink, and not shame the Master of the Feast. 

Thou canst, if thou please, as well multiply these five loaves and two fishes, to suffice for all this multitude to eat. 

But this he could not say: he forgot the lesson, of the omnipotence of Christ, and went to human means, saying, two hundred pence will scarce suffice that every one may have a bit. 

Saint Andrew likewise, he had forgotten this lesson of Christ his omnipotence, and went to human means: here is a boy, quoth he, hath five loaves and two little fishes, but what is that amongst all these? 

Christ repeated their lesson of his omnipotence unto them again. 

He took the five loaves and two fishes into his hands, gave thanks to God, multiplied them to suffice all the multitude, and left a great deal more than they were of themselves. 

If we at any time forget how mercifully God hath provided for us in former times, even when wee were in a kind of wilderness of want, where there seemed to be no help: let us not distrust or the like again, if need be, nor fall to some unlawful means to provide for ourselves, but let us depend of his providence, rely upon him, relying ourselves to him, and commit all our necessities, and afflictions, and ourselves into his hands: that he taking them into his holy hands, as he did the five loaves and two fishes, may so bless our small means, though seeming as far insufficient to give us content, as those five loaves and two fishes, to feed five thousand persons: that it shall not only give us content, but turn the very stones of world lie tribulation and adversity into heavenly bread of comfort, and joy to our souls; as he commonly doeth to them that are distressed and cast themselves into his holy hands especially if it be for the profession of the Catholic religion, are any other good cause.

A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634


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