A number of years ago I read a reflection on this Gospel reading. The reflection advocated that the feeding of the 5,000 was the result of Jesus inspiring a spirit of generosity and giving among those in attendance. While the disciples had only a small amount of food, when the assembled crowd shared all their resources they had plenty to feed everybody. The author of the reflection argued the miracle was achieved in the way many came together to focus on a common purpose and to share their own goods as a means of supporting the other.
While the core argument of the reflection is up for theological debate the messaging of sharing what we have to benefit others resonates greatly. Our society is living in very polarized times. We seem to focus only on supporting those who share our beliefs or ideas. I am sure there was doubt, questions, disagreement and differences among those who gathered to listen to Jesus that day.
As we journey through the Advent season let us constantly reflect on the reality that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and that we are all called to use our actions and words to build each other up.
—Ed Hardiman, Ph.D., P'19, '21, '26, Headmaster