A reflection founded on writings.
Consider that before disciples of Jesus could believe, we have testimony of God doing what God does best.
Testimonials from the Luke’s Act of the Apostles and Gospel not that the risen Jesus had to convince his disciples that he was not a ghost. Aside from not using the word “boo,” the best argument is of His hands and feet that are marred by nails yet whole again. “Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones like you see I have,” He says. (Luke 24:39). Even this does not resolve all their questions.
Then Jesus moves on asking if they have anything edible. Luke does not record the disciples’ responses, but it’s easy to imagine their fearful and perplexed murmuring simmering into awe and wonder. They might not understand the “how” of the resurrection (do we?), but they had no argument regarding the “what” . . . Jesus is alive and has taken food.
Consider a retreat moment to reflect on how you would have responded to that Friday through the Third Day and beyond. And, with our catechetical and liturgical experiences, how do you respond to that Friday through the Third Day and beyond in this, this time, in your friendship with God?
We have this tradition of applying scripture verses to issues and concerns that are vibrant in our culture and society . . . like looking for magical formulae in the scriptures for everything from ingrown toe nails to the current pandemic, forgetting that the contemporary world of our making is not Matthew’s world. Consider, then, that Matthew’s testimony of the miraculous feeding of the multitude is not a discourse on world hunger. Nor is this testimony a call for more earnest sensitivity to the needs of others.
Matthew’s people (14:13-21) testified to that which they have come to understand and believe about Jesus and what Jesus says and does. It’s all about Jesus, period. And yet it’s also fair to note that what Jesus says and does, He chooses to say to disciples like us and to do through us. He asks, “What do you have?” Perhaps that move is the most miraculous aspect of these verses full of miracles.