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.


These circumstance of five loves and two fishes, of the boy that had them, that the loaves were of barley, that Christ commanded his disciples to distribute them to the people, that he commanded the people to sit down upon the ground, that he commanded the fragments co be gathered up, and saved, that there were twelve baskets full of them: All these are as it were fragments of this miracle to make us a spiritual Feast. 

The five loaves may signify the five books of Moses, and the two fishes, the books of the Psalms of David and the Prophet, which comprehend all the sacred or divine scripture of the Jews, to teach us, the divine scriptures is the food of souls. 

Or they may signify the five capital wounds of Christ, upon the cross and two fishes, the two natures in Christ, God and man, which are the food of our souls in a more eminent manner then the holy Scripture is. 

These five loaves and two fishes and the boy that carried them, they found not by chance, but, as is most probable, procured the boy to carry them for their necessary provision, which must not be neglected: and by this that though these things were little enough for their necessary sustenance, and yet they were more careful to feed the people then themselves: we may learn, if we do the like, God will multiply increase our store, as he did these loaves, and fishes; and we shall never have the less for our selves, but rather the more as they had even in this world, besides the next: as was done to that woman who of that little she had (which was to little for her self) fed the Prophet servant of God Elias first, and God by multiplication, as he did here, increased his store. 

In that these loaves were of course bread, to wit of barley, and only two little fishes (for all this was done, not by chance, but by the providence of God, and as is most probable of their own providing) we may learn to avoid over much superfluity and delicacy in our diet, which be the cause of many sins and evil effects. 

The poor, say the Prophet David, shall eat poorly, and they shall be filled, and praise God for it, that is to say; and rise sober to remember to give God thanks, and to return to their usual bossiness again: but the rich shall sit down to eat and drink in such superfluity and excess, that they shall rise to play, that it to say, to play the sinners; as was said, and not without cause of the Jews: they sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play, as is  before, expounded. 

We must use dainty dishes as sauce to course fare, which commonly is but very little in comparison of our meat, as the these two little fishes were in comparison of the five leaves of bread. 

We bring ourselves into unnecessary, necessities we cannot eat this, or that, we cannot be without sumptuous and soft apparel, we cannot be without fair houses, and furniture suitable to it, we cannot busy ourselves in any good exercise to keep us from idleness the mother of much evil, and a thousand other vanities; but the true cause indeed is, we will not abstain from these kind of necessities which we ourselves do make to ourselves. 

The Prophet David though he were a king, that might best use them, desired very earnestly to be delivered praying thus: From my necessities. O Lord deliver me. This is a petition worthy to be put into the common litanies or supplications of the Church, among the rest: from my unnecessary necessities deliver me O Lord. 

The bread Christ gave to be distributed by the Apostles, signifies that they were the ministers of Gods word, and Sacraments, and that we must have it at their handes, that cann truely derive their Mil- fion and succession from them, which is only in the Catholic Church. 

The fragments were gathered pp and faucd, not oncly to approve the miracle; but to signify, that we must garber up and keep in memory the orckes and words of God, to remember and ruminate upon cbem long after they are past, to feed and nourish our souls: as our blessed lady did all things of Christ, of whom it is said concerning his Nativity, and the circumstances thereof, (and might have

A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634


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