Late in the afternoon, his disciples came to him and said, “We are in a lonely place and it is now late. You
should send these people away, so that they can go to the villages and buy something for themselves to eat.”
But Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have
nothing here but five loaves and two fishes.” Jesus said to them, “Bring them here to me.”
Then he made everyone sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fishes, raised his eyes to
heaven, pronounced the blessing, broke the loaves, and handed them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
And they all ate, and everyone had enough; then the disciples gathered up the leftovers, filling twelve baskets.
About five thousand men had eaten there, besides women and children.
Though we are living in an era where touch is viewed with suspicion and fear – be it due to the stories of
abuse or the pandemic – human touch does heal physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Some cultures
have the tradition of children touching the feet of their parents and teachers to seek their blessing and the
latter blessing them by laying their hands on their heads. How moving a sight it is! “Jesus laid his hands
on each one and healed them.” Nothing more was necessary for Jesus to do than lay his hands gently on
them and whisper a prayer. We can do the same and heal those around us as well: a gentle hand on the
shoulder or a warm hug when someone is hurting, a pat on the back when someone does something good,
laying of our hands and a prayer over those who are sick – these gestures do incredible miracles in their lives.
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