Commentary to the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time B
Feeding miracles were popular in the New Testament traditions. Different gospel writers had diverse way of portraying and interpreting those miracles. The author of John’s gospel was concerned of telling accounts to effect faith and by believing in Jesus believers may reach life, fullness of life. It seemed that a very important keyword to John’s gospel was LIFE. In the prologue, and in the two conclusions of the gospel [chapters 20 1nd 21], faith and life played a big role in marking out the framework of John’s gospel account.
The author of John’s gospel calls the miracles of Jesus as “signs”. Precisely because these are signs of the kingdom… concrete and present. The place and timeframe of John’s good news is “here and now”: I have come that you may have life, and live it to the full. Thus feeding miracles are best to portray this proposal of Jesus.
The people were satiated. They experienced communion with God and with others. It was not illogical then that they wanted to make Jesus a king. But Jesus withdrew. He didn’t allow any distraction to come into his way to bring life to people. To be a king did not fit to the ways of his kingdom.
As we live to achieve more of life, we are oftentimes distracted with a lot of things that we thought can give us security to “fullness of life”. But only to find out that those things actually rob us of the real life, those that marginalize others and our real self too.