Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fish to reinforce believe in God, not just to fill empty stomachs. That was the message Pope Francis gave August 5, 2018, in his remarks before praying the noonday Angelus with some 20,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.
“He wants the people to know Him. He wants the search for Him and the meeting with Him to go beyond the immediate satisfaction of material needs,” the Pope explained. “Jesus came to bring us something more: to open our existence to a wider horizon than the daily preoccupations of eating, of dressing, of careers and so on.”
Therefore, after performing the miracle of feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and a couple fish, Jesus challenges the people to consider the real meaning of the miracle. He wants to understand that it is about the “great gift” God has given humanity: Jesus.
“He, true ‘bread of life’ (v. 35), wants to satiate not only bodies but also souls, giving the spiritual food that can satisfy the greatest hunger,” the Holy Father continued “Therefore, He invites the crowd to procure for themselves not the food that doesn’t last, but the food that remains for eternal life (Cf. v. 27). It’s a food that Jesus gives us every day: his Word, his Body, and his Blood.”
The crowd struggles to understand. But they ask Jesus what they must do to please God.
“Jesus gives an unexpected answer: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent’ (v. 29).” Francis said. “ These words are addressed, today, also to us: the work of God doesn’t consist so much in ‘doing’ things but in ‘believing’ in Him that He has sent. This means that faith in Jesus enables us to carry out the works of God. If we let ourselves be involved in this relationship of love and of trust with Jesus, we will be able to carry out good works with the fragrance of the Gospel, for the good and the needs of brothers.”