Spring, A.U.C. 781. (Cf. John 6; Luke 9; Mark 6; and Matthew 14)
Jesus invites the Apostles, tired out from their missionary labours, to rest awhile. They cross the northern part of the Sea of Galilee, but, instead of finding the desired solitude, they are met by multitudes of people who had preceded them by land or by boat, and who were eager for instruction. Jesus taught them throughout the day, and towards evening did not wish to dismiss them hungry. On the other hand, there were only five loaves and two fishes at the disposal of Jesus; after His blessing, these scanty supplies satisfied the hunger of five thousand men, besides women and children, and remnants filled twelve baskets of fragments. Jesus sent the Apostles back to their boats, and escaped from the enthusiastic multitudes, who wished to make Him king, into the mountain where He prayed till far into the night. Meanwhile the Apostles were facing a contrary wind till the fourth watch in the morning, when they saw Jesus walking upon the waters. The Apostles first fear, and then recognize Jesus; Peter walks upon the water as long as his confidence lasts; the storm ceases when Jesus has entered the boat. The next day brings Jesus and His Apostles to Capharnaum, where He speaks to the assembly about the Bread of Life and promises the Holy Eucharist, with the result that some of His followers leave Him, while the faith of His true disciples is strengthened.
About May, A.U.C. 781- Sept., 781. (Cf. Luke 9; Mark 7-9; Matthew 14-18; John 7)
It may be owing to the enmity stirred up against Jesus by His Eucharistic discourse in Capharnaum that He began now a more extensive missionary tour than He had made in the preceding years of His life. Passing through the country of Genesar, He expressed His disapproval of the Pharisaic practices of legal purity. Within the boarders of Tyre and Sidon He exorcized the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman. From here Jesus travelled first towards the north, then towards the east, then south-eastward through the northern part of Decapolis, probably along the foot of the Lebanon, till He came to the eastern part of Galilee. While in Decapolis Jesus healed a deaf-mute, employing a ceremonial more elaborate than He had used at any of His previous miracles; in the eastern part of Galilee, probably not far from Dalmanutha and Magedan, He fed four thousand men, besides children and women, with seven loaves and a few little fishes, the remaining fragments filling seven baskets. The multitudes had listened for three days to the teaching of Jesus, previously to the miracle. In spite of the many cures performed by Jesus, during this journey, on the blind, the dumb, the lame, the maimed, and on many others, the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Him for a sign from heaven, tempting Him. He promised them the sign of Jonas the Prophet. After Jesus and the Apostles had crossed the lake, He warned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; then they passed through Bethsaida Julias where Jesus gave sight to a blind man. Next we find Jesus in the confines of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter professes his faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, and in his turn receives from Jesus the promise of the power of the keys. Jesus here predicts His passion, and about a week later is transfigured before Peter, James, and John, probably on the top of Mt.Thabor. On descending from the mountain, Jesus exorcizes the mute devil whom His disciples had not been able to expel. Bending his way towards Capharnaum, Jesus predicts His Passion for the second time, and in the city pays the tribute-money for Himself and Peter. This occasions the discussion as to the greater in the kingdom of heaven, and the allied discourses. Finally, Jesus refuses His brethren’s invitation to go publicly to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.