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17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B
July 26, 2015

Study of the Readings

Ed. by
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, et al.

• Words, Phrases
• To the point

• First Two Readings

Let the Scriptures Speak

Hamm, SJ

The Prophet- King Shepherds His People

The prophet Elisha tells a man with twenty barley loaves to distribute them to a hundred men, and the man goes and does it, with “some left over.” John's point: like Elisha, Jesus is God's agent, but in a way that vastly transcends that prophet of long ago.


The Word Embodied

Kavanaugh, SJ

The Bread of Life

If Christ really has given us the Eucharist, he is doing something far greater in our midst than Elisha’s feeding of two hundred with twenty barley loaves or even Jesus’ own stupendous feeding of five thousand.


Historical Cultural Context

John J. Pilch

A Need to Know

The people are fed with bread and fish, John specifies barley loaves. Barley was the most common grain after wheat. It manages to survive extreme heat as well as water shortages much better than wheat.


from the
Early Church


Governing the entire universe is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread, yet no one marvels at it. People marvel at the feeding of the five thousand not because this miracle is greater, but because it is out of the ordinary.


Scripture In Depth

Reginald H. Fuller

We know that at some stage Jesus broke off his Galilean ministry and went to Jerusalem, and in all the Gospels the feeding is a pivotal point in the narrative. This shows that its central position is due not merely to Mark’s arrangement but goes back to earlier tradition.