Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary 178. Isaiah 25:6-10. Psalm 23:1-3,3-4.5.6. Matthew

"They gathered up the fragments left over, these filled seven
hampers." (Matt.15:37). From the two fish and the seven loaves of bread
Jesus is able to feed the multitude. What is amazing is that there are
seven hampers left over from the miracle. There is enough for those
travelling home to have something to eat. This miracle later is understood
as symbolizing the Eucharist and we can easily see why. Jesus thanks God
the Father: "Jesus then took the seven loaves and the fish, and after
giving thanks he broke them (kai eucharistesas eklasen), and gave them to
the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowd." We easily find an echo
of what the celebrant says in the Mass while proclaiming the Eucharistic
prayer. The word "Eucharist" is well known in translation as
"Thanksgiving." We hear these prayers each time we participate in the

The gathering of the fragments is found also in one of the earliest
declarations of faith called the Didache or the Teaching of the Twelve
Apostles. The phrase symbolizes the unity of the church made up of the
different fragments. In one of the Communion Songs frequently sung at the
Liturgy "As the Grains of Wheat" once scattered on the hill were gathered
into one to become our bread, so may all your people from all the ends of
the earth be gathered into one in you."

Chapter 9:1-5 is worth citing for our meditation today:

In regard to the Eucharist---you shall give thanks thus: First, in
regard to the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of
David your son, which you have made known to us through Jesus your Son.
Glory be to you forever. In regard to the broken bread: We give you
thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you have made known to
us through Jesus your Son. Glory be to you forever. As this broken bread
was scattered on the mountains, but brought together was made one, so
gather your Church from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours
is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. Let no one eat or
drink of the Eucharist with you except those who have been baptized in the
name of the Lord.

Within the text we should not forget the "fish". This became an early
symbol for Jesus himself in the form of an anacronym. The word fish in
Greek is ichthus and the letters symbolize the titles of Jesus: I=Jesus
or Iesus; CH=Christos or Christ; TH=Theos or God, U= Hyuios or Son of
(God), S=Soter or Savior.
We have thus a Scriptural passage that has been transformed into a
Sacramental Prayer for the Eucharist and symbols that represent the Bread
of Life and the Cup of Salvation as well as Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Savior. Amen.