The Gospel Today
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”
They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
It is written in Luke 9:11-12: “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in deserted place here. He said to them, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’” The crowd mentioned in Luke 9:11 who followed Jesus in that deserted place were the Jews who were poor people. According to some commentaries on this particular verse, the Roman occupants claimed a good portion of the resources, and politicians like Herod imposed heavy taxes on them, which were partly justified by the need to occupy the extra manpower for grandiose projects. Jesus was totally aware of the predicament of these people. That was why He felt responsible for them who became His guests that evening. And so Jesus did what was necessary according to his own faith. He fed the five thousand poor people.
When I was still in college, I volunteered to be a worker in a home for the abandoned in our diocese. There, I met four children, two of them were sons of a patient who was abandoned by her husband and was suffering from a late stage cervical cancer, the other kid was an abandoned child with no information regarding the whereabouts of his parents and the other was a paraplegic teenager boy. It was nearly Christmas during that time and I felt it would be so sad for these children to celebrate Christmas in that place. So I spoke with the Apostolate Director and asked permission if I could bring the four kids in our home where they could celebrate Christmas. The request was granted with the approval of course of the mother of the two kids. It was one of the most memorable Christmases that my family and I had ever have. Sharing a home to the needy during the most wonderful time of the year was I guess an act of faith on my part. I ought to do that act of charity as dictated by my conscience and faith in God.
The gospel invites us to always be cognizant of our responsibilities to other people especially to those who are in need of our help. Let us always be inspired by the example of Jesus who fulfilled His responsibility to the poor people as promised by His Father in heaven.