“Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”
Reflection from Alice L. :
So far as I can tell, this was the first example of Christ giving thanks before a meal. But the Gospel writer is mentioning it almost in passing, on the way the bigger story of the miracle of the loaves feeding the 5000. The way it is casually mentioned suggests to me that it was something Christ did routinely before meals; not something at all unusual.
I am also struck that Christ gave thanks for the five loaves, not later when the 5000 had been fed and there was extra left over. This reminds me to be thankful for the little things in my life. We should not wait for the big miracles to give God thanks.
When my extended family gathers for a meal, even a simple lunch of sandwiches at the family cottage, we all take hands, bow our heads and give thanks. One year my cousin’s husband said simply, “Thank you, God, for life.” He was, and is, robustly healthy, but his simple acknowledgement that we owe everything to God, even (or especially) life itself, has always stayed with me. Let’s all look for even the little things in our lives – simple loaves of bread – for which to be thankful.
Dear God, thank you for the people in my life who bring me such joy; thank you for all the little blessings you give me each day – even the ones I am too busy to notice. Help me to truly see and appreciate all the blessings you have given me. Thank you for Life.