Jesus asks Philip, "Where are you going to get enough bread to feed all these people?"
Since we can assume that Jesus knew the answer already, we can ponder instead why he asked it of Philip.
Jesus knew that they had sufficient resources to take care of the problem in front of them. He needed to know if Philip realized this, or, he needed to make sure that he did.
Andrew recognizes that they have access to some resources but he doesn't think they're enough to attack the problem.
Does any of this sound like modern-day discussions of how to work on society's problems? The need is great, really great. Our resources are limited, really limited.
Try to imagine yourself as Philip or Andrew. How would you respond to Jesus' question?
Allen & Williamson, in their excellent Preaching the Gospels, point out the importance of having the crowd sit down:
The Greek is anapesin, "to recline or sit down," not "sit." The point is important, for the rich and the royal lie down to eat. Jesus treats the crowds as royalty. They recline on "a great deal of grass" (an echo Of Psalm 23:2).
What's the message to us--are we not only supposed to feed the strangers but also to treat them well? How far does this go--do we have to include health care, as well?
Lectio Divina: Psalm 145:16
You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.