The first week we hear a passage often known as "the multiplication of the loaves." That is not what the author of the Gospel calls it. A few verses later, in material omitted for public reading, the evangelist refers to the incident in highly significant works: "When the LORD gave thanks..." The Greek is more telling, and highly significant. It can be translated "When the LORD gave thanks," but it could also be translated, "When the LORD eucharistized," or "celebrated the Eucharist." The story known as the "miracle of the loaves," or the "multiplication" would more accurately be known as a story showing that Jesus is present with his disciples at the Eucharist, and that Christ performs the miracle of feeding his disciples with Himself, with his body and blood, and with his divine teaching.
Also omitted from our hearing is the passage known as "walking on the water." Again, the common short-hand titles seem to miss the point. The image of Jesus walking on the water symbolizes God's control over forces of chaos, and hence over all of reality, in and through Christ. This truth is made plain in the revelatory words spoken by Christ as he "walks on the water." The poor translation in our bibles misses the point: "Do not be afraid; it is I." No, the Greek is clearly a reference not just to Jesus, but to the God in Christ, to the God of Moses: "Do not be afraid, I AM." And that this pivotal story is omitted from the five weeks spent reading from John 6 displays the fact that the decisive point of the chapter is downplayed, or neglected. What is taking place in John 6 is not only a teaching on the Eucharist, not only a teaching on Christ as having "the words of eternal life," not only teaching us that through his death Christ gives his life for the world: But in all of these points, and above all, John 6 is a revelation of the the unseen God in Christ: The I AM is the One alive and active and fully present in Jesus. And it is the unknown God, called "the Father," who is "drawing you" to faith in Christ.
We shall seek to make this decisive revelation clear in the series of homilies on John 6.