from "The Lord's Sermons" (through Gottfried Mayerhofer)
Sixth Sunday After Trinity
The Lord Feeds the 4000
St. Mark VIII, 1-9: "In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from afar. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away."
(April 7, 1872)
This chapter deals with another feeding of the multitude gathered around Me, namely, four thousand people. In the end seven baskets with bread are left over, whilst at the start there were only seven loaves of bread and some fish available.
Once before I worked a similar miracle, feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, when twelve baskets with bread were left over. You already know the spiritual meaning of the five loaves and the two fishes. In this second instance, too, when instead of five thousand I fed only four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and some fish, whereby seven baskets full were left over -compared with twelve the first time, everything has its spiritual meaning, which I shall now explain to you.
The twelve baskets of leftovers from the first miracle, denoted the twelve tribes of Israel as well as the twelve commandments which were to remain with men after I had gone. The seven baskets that were left the second time denote My seven main attributes which were to remain with men to strengthen them and serve as their guiding principle when they no longer had Me. These seven attributes are:
Love, patience, meekness, forgiveness, perseverance, self-sacrifice and mercy.
St. John VI, 1-15: " After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone."
(February 17, 1872)
"Here you have one of those deeds which created a great sensation among the Jews, even to such an extent that those who witnessed it wanted to proclaim Me king, thus forcing Me to evade their intentions by withdrawing alone to the solitude of a mountain.
For Me, the Lord and Creator, the act as such was not so great and important, when I caused the five barley loaves and two fishes to continuously be replaced or complemented out of the substances of the air in such a way that they easily sufficed for five thousand people and of the bread there still remained twelve baskets full of leftovers. For the people encamped around Me it certainly was a miracle that strikingly proved My divine descent and might. However, by the Jews it was not regarded spiritually but according to their material interests, since following this act they wanted to proclaim Me king. I had to withdraw from them, for first of all, that was not the purpose of My life on earth and besides, My time for "being lifted up" had not yet come. That expression, whenever I used it, was likewise never understood until the crucifixion explained it and My ascension fulfilled the "being lifted up" also spiritually.
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