Sunday Readings and Reflections

Giovanni Lanfranco – Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (1620 – 1623)

Sunday, July 25 
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Roman Ordinary calendar


St. James the GreaterSt. Christopher


2nd book of Kings 4,42-44.

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing the man of God twenty barely loaves made from the first fruits, and fresh grain in the ear. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said. 
But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha insisted. “For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'” 
And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said. 

Psalms 145(144),10-11.15-16.17-18.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, 
and let your faithful ones bless you. 
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom 
and speak of your might. 

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, 
and you give them their food in due season; 
You open your hand 
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.   

The LORD is just in all his ways 
and holy in all his works. 
The LORD is near to all who call upon him, 
to all who call upon him in truth. 

Letter to the Ephesians 4,1-6.

Brothers and sisters : I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, 
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, 
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 
one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 
one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6,1-15.

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. 


Saint Ephrem (c.306-373) 
deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church 
Commentary on the Diatessaron, 12, 1-4 ; SC 121

The multiplication of the loaves

Our Lord multiplied bread in the wilderness and changed water into wine at Cana. Thus he accustomed his disciples’ mouths to his bread and wine until the time when he would give them his own body and blood. He gave them a taste of transitory bread and wine to stir up in them a desire for his own life-giving body and blood. He gave them generously of those insignificant things that they might know that his more important gift would be free. He gave these things freely, even though they might have bought them, that they might know they would not be asked to pay for something beyond price: for, if they were able to pay the price of some bread and wine, yet they would not be able to pay for his body and blood.

Not only did he freely fill us with his gifts but he treated us yet more lovingly. For he gave us those little things freely to draw us, so that we would come to him and freely receive that great good of the eucharist. Those fragments of bread and wine that he gave were sweet to the mouth, but the gift of his body and blood is of value to the spirit. He attracted us by these tasty foods to draw us to that which gives life to our souls (…)

The Lord’s work achieves all things: in the blink of an eye he multiplied a morsel of bread! What people effect and transform after ten months of labor, his ten fingers carried out in an instant (…). From a handful of bread a quantity of loaves comes to be: it was for them as it was at the time of the first blessing: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gn 1:28).

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

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