8 January 2019. Tuesday after Epiphany
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
He said the blessing, broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples to be distributed to the people. We normally hear these words when we participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass. These are words assuring perpetual presence brought by the overflowing love and mercy of God. Jesus remains with us forever hidden in the bread and wine consecrated during the Eucharist. For us, who believe in His teachings, we should understand all of these in the eyes of faith.
Jesus wants all of us to be with Him forever and enjoy the everlasting happiness in heaven with the Father. He wants to nourish us with His own body and blood in order for us to have eternal life. When He died on the cross, He saved all humanity from sin and gave us a new life in the Spirit. It is this new life that He himself is trying to keep strong and nourished. At present, Jesus wishes to communicate this daily nourishment through the Eucharist. It is only in the Eucharist that we can experience the true presence of Jesus – His body, blood, spirit and divinity.
It is good to ask ourselves, how important is the celebration of the Holy Mass to me? What is my disposition when I am participating in this Sacrament of love? What are the graces I receive through this Sacrament and how do I share these gifts to others? These may be simple questions but they require deep and personal answers.
Our faith teaches us that in the Eucharist, it is really Jesus whom we are receiving. Sacramentally, it is really His own body we are eating and His own blood we are drinking. Through this personal unity with Jesus, we are blessed with many graces that we need to really pattern of lives to Him.
The Gospel Today
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already very late.
Dismiss them so that they can go
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat.”
He said to them in reply,
“Give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out they said,
“Five loaves and two fish.”
So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties.
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people;
he also divided the two fish among them all.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.