TUESDAY AFTER EPIPHANY JANUARY 8, 2019


Mass readings are found here

A reading from the holy Gospel of Mark 6:34-44

When Jesus landed he saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

REFLECTION: "They all ate and were satisfied"

Jesus saw how tired and hungry the people were. They had been waiting for awhile. However, they did not complain nor blame someone for their situation. Would you complain if Jesus was talking to you? Jesus was very tired and overwhelmed with grief as John the Baptist had been beheaded. We can imagine, a very tired Jesus wanting to be alone with God in prayer and grieving for his cousin. But Jesus had pity on the people because he knew they had waited to hear him. They were physically hungry and also hungry for his message. They were hungry for the Truth. Jesus looked up to heaven gave thanks to God and fed the hungry crowd with the miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish.

They ate the food with gratitude and stayed on to hear from Jesus. The crowd did not expect to be fed. Jesus staying with the crowd and inviting them for dinner was most appreciated. It was an unexpected gift.

Our life , our talents, our abilities are all unexpected gifts. Jesus' life for our ransom from sin was an unexpected gift. We would have never thought of asking God to have His Son die for us.

Before his death, Jesus took pity on us and could not leave us alone without sustenance while on our journey home. He left us food for our soul. And on that Holy Thursday meal, Jesus "raised his eyes to heaven and gave thanks" and consecrated the wine and bread to his body, his blood, his Soul and his Divinity. The Eucharist , the Bread of Life, the most precious Body and Blood of Christ was the greatest gift from God. Through the Eucharist, God feeds our souls. God wants to enter into a personal relationship with us and how better than to gift Himself to us.

We receive the gift of God and God does the opening of this gift. Little by little He reveals Himself to us and as we receive this gift, we reciprocate with our own gift of growing in openness. We grow in our love of God as He reveals His gift of Himself to us. (Father George Montague, The Gift of the Holy Spirit).

What tremendous love of our Creator for His creatures. We hunger for his word and we receive it in the scripture and liturgy of the Mass. We hunger for his life and he offers himself each day --he is there to comfort us during difficult times, to heal us or give us the strength to sustain us in our struggles and illnesses. Any where we go in the world Jesus can be found, present in the Blessed Sacrament waiting for us.

We need to take the time and sit and spend time with Jesus and be ready to be fed. Get to know Jesus and trust him. He is most generous in his love for us.

"The Eucharist is the marvel of the love of a God for us." St John Vianney


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