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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 110
Read: John: 6:1-15

Gospel Summary
Jesus created a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among the people who came to hear his words. It is clear, however, that they did not completely understand the meaning of what he said. They looked for signs and believed that he performed miracles such as the one in today's gospel. This gospel tells of the fishes and loaves of bread multiplied to such an extent that they not only fed the large crowd, but there was plenty of food left over. The people simply saw the amount of bread increase in a way similar to God providing food for the ancient Israelites when he sent manna from heaven to fill their hunger. The people on the hillside with Jesus did not understand how bread could be spiritual nourishment or that Jesus was that bread.

Reflection for Families
So much of our culture today is based on a "what's in it for me" attitude. We are reluctant to give our time, energy, or resources to an effort that doesn't yield a benefit directly for us or our families. Our simple acts of kindness toward others do not go unnoticed by our children. When they see us give of ourselves generously, they learn about the boy who shared his food with the crowd in today's gospel.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
A movie available on video, Pay It Forward, is a story about how one act of kindness and sharing can multiply similarly to the way the food multiplied in this gospel. Take time to watch this movie together and talk about things you might do individually or as a family to become living bread for others. After you've had a chance to do the actions you discussed, come back together to see how your actions have made the world a better place, or may do so at a later time.

Discussion Starters

1. Some things I have noticed in the media that try to convince me not to live this gospel message are...
2. When I know I have an opportunity to help someone who needs assistance, such as a homeless person, recovering or abused person, I generally...
3. My hunger does not always come from physical hunger. I remember once when I was really hungry for something other than food...

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