In an affluent society basic food such as bread and water is no problem. However, for many people in the world it still is. Thus they can understand better than we do that it is a real sign of love and care when God intervenes to feed his people. For them, water and bread are a question of life and death. But we are often hungry and thirsty for other values than sustenance of physical life. In a depersonalized society we suffer from absence where there should be presence. We hunger and thirst for companionship, love, concern, mercy, respect, which are no problem in the great family of primitive people. Whose need is greater? Where we suffer from absence, the Lord Jesus wants to be present to us with all the concern and love of a friend for a friend. In the signs of plain daily food for Orientals, water, bread, wine, Jesus indicates what he intends by being present to us. He wants to share life. He wants to strengthen. He wants to mean something to you and me.
When we celebrate the Eucharist, we celebrate this mysterious presence of the Lord Jesus with the community. This is the meaning of celebrating the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Multiplying of bread in today’s Gospel symbolizes the love of Jesus who gives his life for the salvation of his people.