Sunday, July 29, 2018

The First Fruits of the Resurrection

JULY 29, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you!

A man offered to Elisha 20 barley (sebada) loaves made from the first fruits which the prophet ordered to be given to feed 100 people. Elisha was the successor of Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, who multiplied the flour and made it enough to sustain a woman and her child until the end of the famine. Jesus was offered 5 barley loaves and 2 fish which he multiplied to feed 5,000 men. Both the offerings given to Elisha and Jesus were held when the feast of the Passover was near. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread was the time when Barley was offered as first fruits of spring.
Clearly, the story of the multiplication of the loaves is a Eucharistic story. Here we see Jesus who is greater than the prophets Elijah and Elisha because he fed more people with less number of loaves than the 2 prophets previously did. Thus, the people who were fed by the Lord would acclaim him: “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Greater than the prophets, Jesus is The Prophet, the one who comes to fulfill all the prophets of all said.

In this miracle, Jesus is also shown as the Good Shepherd who brings and feeds his flock in verdant pastures. He lets the people recline on the grass in order to feed them. They ate as much as they wanted with leftovers to be gathered into 12 baskets. “You have prepared a table for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil and my cup is overflowing.”

A man brought to Elisha 20 barley loaves. A boy offered to Jesus 5 barley loaves. The barley is the first grain to be harvested in spring. It is the first fruit offered to God in the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread is a 7 day feast immediately after the Passover. As the barley is the first fruit offered to God on the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, so is Christ the first fruits of the Resurrection (1 Cor 15:23). Christ offered himself on the Cross at the very hour when the lambs were offered in the temple in preparation for the Passover. Christ resurrected from the dead on the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. He is the first fruits of the Resurrection. On the Feast of the unleavened bread, all yeast (which is the symbol of sin) is cast away. Therefore, Jesus who is the first fruits of the Resurrection offers us himself, the Unleavened Bread so that we might partake of his new life. However, we are also to cast away the leaven of sin so as to share most fully in the eternal life which he offers us at our own resurrection from the dead. “Just as in Adam, all die, so in Christ all will come to life. But each in his own turn: Christ the first fruits, and at his coming, all those who belong to him. And then will come the end when Christ will hand over his kingdom to God the Father.” “Therefore, let us cast out the old leaven, that you may be a new unleavened batch as you really are. For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the festival not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor 5:7-8) It is only by renouncing the leaven of sin that we can repose in the verdant pastures of the Good Shepherd where he will prepare a table for us, anoint us with oil, and make our cup overflow.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.    

1 comment:

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