Thank you for joining the Good Shepherd Live Mass for Friday 4/16/2021

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Friday 4/16/2021

Reading I

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (see 4abc)  One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R.    One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R.    One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R.    One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

The Last Gospel

John 1:1-14

In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.

What came to be
through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.

He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.


“Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.” John 6:12–13

John’s Gospel is filled with much symbolic meaning. The passage above concludes the story of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. After feeding the multitude of people with only five barley loaves and two fish, they were able to fill twelve wicker baskets with what remained. What was the reason for the extra?

Saint Augustine, in commenting upon this passage, explains that Jesus provided more than the people could eat as a way of symbolically representing spiritual truths that were beyond what the vast crowds could comprehend. Thus, Jesus’ teachings spiritually nourished the crowds to the point that they were fully satisfied. But even though the general crowds were satisfied with what Jesus taught them, there was still so much more that He had to teach. These deeper spiritual truths are represented by the extra twelve baskets.

The twelve baskets represent the Twelve Disciples. They were the ones specially chosen by Jesus to receive so much more. Recall the times when Jesus taught the crowds in parables and then, later, would explain the meaning to the Twelve in private. He revealed to them certain truths that most people could not understand and accept.

It is helpful to consider three different groups of people in this miracle and apply those groupings to us today. The first group of people are those who were not even present for the miracle. Those who did not make the journey to be with Jesus in the wilderness. This is the largest group of people within society who go about their daily lives without even seeking minimal nourishment from our Lord.

The second grouping of people is this “large crowd” who followed Jesus to the remote side of the Sea of Galilee to be with Him. These represent those who diligently seek out our Lord every day. These are those who are faithful to the celebration of the Mass, the reading of Scripture, to daily prayer and study. To this grouping of people, our Lord teaches many things, and they are nourished by His holy Word and Sacraments.

The third grouping of people, the Twelve Disciples who are represented by the Twelve wicker baskets left over, are those who are exceptionally faithful to our Lord and continue to be nourished by Him in a superabundant way. These are those who seek to understand and embrace the deepest spiritual truths so as to be nourished and transformed on the deepest level.

Reflect, today, upon the fact that the spiritual food our Lord wishes to offer you is most often far more than you can immediately accept and consume. But understanding that fact is the first step to disposing yourself to receive even more. As you reflect upon this superabundance of spiritual food from our Lord, recommit yourself especially to seek out that remaining “twelve wicker baskets” of spiritual truths. If you do, you will discover that there is truly no end to the transforming depths of the gifts of grace our Lord wishes to bestow upon you.

My most generous Lord, You not only give spiritual nourishment to Your people, You give it in superabundance. As I daily seek You out and am filled with Your mercy, help me to never tire of feasting upon the superabundant gift of Your grace. Please do nourish me, dear Lord, and help me to consume Your holy Word. Jesus, I trust in You.

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