17th Sunday Ordinary Time B18
All four Gospels relate an episode of Jesus feeding a crowd but only John sets it as being near the feast of Passover, has a different role for Phillip and Andrew, and the designation of the loaves as being barley, reminiscent of the story of Elisha we heard in the first reading.
Imagine being the unnamed boy in today’s Gospel. What was he doing with 5 loaves of bread and two fish? Is he returning from the market with them for his master? Or does his mother expect him at home with food for the rest of the family? Is he just passing through or is he part of the large crowd? What happened to attract Andrew’s attention? Did the boy willingly hand them over to Jesus or did he argue, not wanting to part with them because he knew his master or mother would punish him for showing up empty handed? In any case the boy provided the means of a miracle, feeding 5,000 men reclining on the ground (instead of “reclining”, I would say they were “loafing”), having an abundance of food with leftovers besides.