April 20, 2007

Barley Loaves

Today in the Liturgy we begin John chapter 6, the famous "Bread of Life" discourse that informs so much of our readings during this early part of the Easter season.

It begins with the feeding of the five thousand, one of those rare gospel traditions that appears in all four canonical gospels. But only John reports the detail that the five loaves used to feed five thousand people were made of barley.

Scripture scholars assure us that barley bread was the food of the poor. It is the food of the poor that becomes the bread offered for the life of the world.

In the same way it is out of our own poverty that grace happens. When we are willing to be poor and vulnerable with each other, we allow these moments to be transformed into the grace and blessing that will feed and heal our violent and tired world.

It is when we can admit and accept our brokenness that we allow God to make us the bread that is broken for the life of the world.

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