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Loaves and Fishes: Eucharist Lesson Plan

This Eucharist lesson plan will help youth understand that God provides for all of our needs. He especially cares for our spiritual needs through the gift of Himself in the Eucharist.

Game for Eucharist Lesson Plan

Give each youth five saltine crackers and two Swedish fish. Explain they have to each them all. No sips of water allowed! The first person to finish wins.

Follow up with a few questions:

  • What do you think our focus is today?
  • What gave it away?

Bible Reading about the Feeding of the Multitude

As you might have guessed, we are talking about the feeding of the multitude today, especially as it relates to the Eucharist.

Let's read the gospel of the day:

John 6:1-15 (Jesus feeds the multitude with five loaves and two fish) - the Gospel Reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.

Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little."

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"

Jesus said, "Have the people recline."

Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."

So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

John 6:1-15

Discussion for Eucharist Lesson Plan

So there is a huge crowd and they are far from any town where people might get food for themselves. But the people so want to hear what Jesus has to say. They are hanging on every word.

  • Have you ever been so engaged in something that you forgot to eat?

But there is an young boy who has five loaves and two fish.

  • Why do you think he brought the food?
  • Do you think he planning to sell it and make a little profit?
  • Was it the food his family brought? If so, what would his family say when he gave it away in an act of generosity?

The truth is, we don't know much about this young boy with a few meager supplies. But what we do know is that Jesus took what little he had to offer and fed a whole lot of people.

That is what Jesus does every time he gives Himself to us in the Eucharist at Mass. We offer Him a little bread and wine. Maybe we even offer Him our voice in prayer or song. Hopefully we offer Him a little of our attention.

In return, Jesus gathers us around His table. He unites Himself completely with us by feeding us His own body and blood. He gives us unity with each other also. He also feeds us with his word, and equips us to go out into the world and bring others to Him.

  • What do you offer at Mass? Might it be possible to offer more of yourself?
  • What do you receive in return? How does our Lord feed you?

The feeding of the multitude is a mystery. We don't have all of the details. We don't know anything about the little boy who provided the loaves and fishes. And while we know that Jesus performed a miracle, we don't know what that miracle looked like. Did the baskets refill themselves? Did something else happen?

In the same way, the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a mystery. When the host is presented to us at Mass, and the minister says "The body of Christ", we must look with the eyes of faith. The same is true when we go to adoration. We kneel before the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance. Without faith, this would seem strange. But if we can take Jesus at His word, when at the last supper He says "This is my body", then it is natural. Consider what Pope Benedict has said:

In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration.

Pope Benedict XVI

If possible, have someone you trust give a personal testimony of their experience of the Eucharist and how it has changed them.

Challenge for Eucharist Lesson Plan

So when you are at Mass this week, really approach the Eucharist through the eyes of faith. Just as we don't really understand what happened at the miracle of the loaves and fishes, we also don't know why Jesus chose to provide for us in this way. But faith tells us that He is present. So spend some time just absorbing His love with your heart instead of analyzing with your head.

If possible, end by spending some time in adoration or praying before the tabernacle.

Additional Resources for Eucharist Lesson Plan

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