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Pope at General Audience explains Jesus' compassion through multiplication of loaves and fish

2016-08-17

During the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis spoke about the miracle of multiplication of the five loaves of bread and two fish for the multitudes in the Gospel of Matthew. He commented that this parable was an example of not only His love for others, but His compassion and merciful concern for others. 

The pope spoke about how this miracle was a sign of the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist through the blessing and breaking of bread. 

SUMMARY OF CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  
In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In Saint Matthew’s account, Jesus wishes to withdraw and pray, but seeing the multitudes, is moved by compassion and chooses to remain with them. By instructing his disciples to feed the crowd, he teaches them to have faith and invites them to share in his concern for those in need. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is a concrete sign of that merciful concern.  Matthew, in telling us that Jesus took the bread, looked up to heaven, then blessed and broke it for the crowds, clearly evokes the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Through our partaking of the Eucharist, we not only receive spiritual nourishment, but, conformed ever more fully to the Lord, we become signs of his merciful presence to those around us. May all of us, as members of Christ’s body, seek to bring to our families and communities, and especially to those most in need, the nourishment of God’s closeness, mercy and love.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Ireland, Sweden, Ghana, Nigeria, China and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.


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