August 2. Sunday 18A. Fr Joseph was also a member of the group and posted his homily for the Sunday. “I don’t know whether to focus on the rally that they all went to, these 5000 men, besides women and children, that the gospel writes about, or about the fact that they just went without taking any provisions with them. That seems a very unwomanly thing to do. Were there only a few sensible women, or could it have been some men, who had brought the five loaves and two fish? The story illustrates God’s concern for us, for our human needs and spiritual needs too because they hadn’t spent the day with him expecting to be fed – unlike the government or the women sodality leaders who are always expected to cater. The story does show the prevailing world-view of the time, mentioning 5000 men and adding women and children as an extra. Women at the time were not on the same plane with men and even today there are some tasks allocated to, or maybe taken on by the different sexes.”
When it was evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This is a lonely place and the day is over. Send the crowds away to go into the villages to buy food for themselves.” Jesus said, “They need not go away, you give them something to eat.” Those who ate were about 5000 men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13-21.
Pope Francis: The equal dignity of men and women makes us rejoice to see old forms of discrimination disappear and within families there is a growing reciprocity.” AL54.