17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B): Gospel – John 6:1-15
Jesus’ miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish not only fed the vast crowd, but it far exceeded their desires. This miracle, prefiguring Jesus’ offering of Himself in the Eucharist, illustrates that God’s generosity is boundless.
Indeed, God’s generosity is at the very root of creation itself:
St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things ‘not to increase His glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it,’ for God has no other reason for creating than His love and goodness.
And as St Thomas Aquinas wrote,
Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened His hand.
— Catechism paragraph 293.
Hence creation is not the result of “any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance,” for it “proceeds from God’s free will; He wanted to make His creatures share in His being, wisdom, and goodness” (295).
The magnitude of creation is taken up into every celebration of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ…
The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father…the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all His benefits, for all that He has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all ‘thanksgiving’
The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation.
— paragraphs 1359-61.
Question for reflection: How have I experienced the superabundant generosity of God?