wicker basket of bread and fish

The Feeding of the Five Thousand


This rosary reflection contains the story of Jesus’ multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish to feed a crowd of more than 5,000 people.

The Gospel Account

At evening, after Jesus had taught the crowds, He told His disciples to feed the crowds themselves. Jesus took the little food they had and created a surplus -there was more food left over than what He started with.

The Feeding of the Five Thousand Reflection contains the full text of the passage from the Gospel of Mathew, Matthew 14:15-20.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from Mary’s prayer in the Gospel. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: The Quest for Food (Matthew 14:15)

When it was evening, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Second Decade: Jesus Asks the Disciples to Feed the Crowd (Matthew 14:16)

Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”

Third Decade:  Jesus Blesses the Disciples’ Food (Matthew 14:17-18)

But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have.” Then Jesus said, “Bring them to me,” and he ordered the crowd to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.

Fourth Decade: All Were Satisfied (Matthew 14:19)

They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over – twelve wicker baskets full.

Fifth Decade: The Size of the Crowd (Matthew 14:20)


Those who ate were about five thousand me, not counting women and children.

What to Remember

These Gospel verses reflect the abundance of life that Jesus brought to feed the large crowd with a few loaves of bread and fish. Jesus told the disciples to bring what they had to Him, and He made it more than enough for a large crowd of hungry people.

As a follower of Jesus, you have the same privilege to bring whatever gifts you have to Jesus. Let Jesus bless those gifts, multiply them, and return them to you, so that you may give those in your daily life what they need to live. Mary’s prayers are with you to help feed others with love and compassion

What to Pray For

  • For the faith to trust that the gifts you have will be enough to help others, with Jesus’ blessing.
  • For a deeper response and commitment to serve others and feed them with God’s Word.
  • For those who hunger in body, mind, emotions, and spirit, that they will be satisfied.
  • For all who work in food pantries and soup kitchens, and all they minister to.

When This Gospel Appears

Matthew’s  Gospel account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand occurs on in the Gospel reading on the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, in Cycle A of the Lectionary. 

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible

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