05 August 2019. Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Major
Reflection (Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol)
In today’s gospel, we witness the very nature of Jesus as a compassionate God. His compassion led Him to heal the sick and to feed the multitude.
Jesus invites me constantly to always remember His mercy and love manifested in my life. In doing so, I believe that more than I wanted to remain in His mercy, it is He who desired first that I remain in His mercy. Eventually, the unconditional love and mercy I received from Him is to be shared to the people that God will send me. In other words, I am called to be a conduit of His mercy and love in as far as I am able willing to follow Him. I thank God for allowing me to experience and somehow practice being a conduit of His love to the students whom He has entrusted me through little sacrifices in preparing and conducting daily classes, listening to the struggles and challenges of the students’ lives, and praying with and for them especially when they are seemed to be hopeless and restless.
One of the questions in the Examination of Conscience during a night prayer here in the seminary is “How have I reflected God’s love for me to the persons I have encountered today?” It is an opportunity to re-examine myself and check on how have I been a conduit of His love towards my brothers and sisters in the community? Many times, my answer is yes but there are also times when my answer is otherwise. It means that I have to double time in practicing to become a conduit of His love for others and strive to reflect the love that comes from Jesus. I believed that my seminary formation has brought me in the process of perfection with His mercy and love, and on my end, I continue to be open and give myself.
The Gospel Today
Matthew 14: 13 – 21
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over–
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.