The Gospel Today
Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniquito):
During the last quarter of the year 201 I attended a recollection. It was an overnight activity among men who are aspiring to become priests. The gospel for today was the material for an overnight recollection. The recollection master gave us this scripture passage to ponder and reflect upon.
I aim to have a disposition like Jesus Christ especially in the situation of this Gospel wherein it started when Jesus learned that John the Baptist, his cousin, died. Death is a sad event in people’s life. It can affect the life of other people, a feeling of lost and abandonment. Jesus was affected with the death of his beloved cousin that is why he allows himself to be alone in a deserted place. He was in the mode of sorrow, grief and mourn. But when Jesus saw the crowd, he set aside first his emotions and focuses his attention on the crowd who needs Him. He started curing, preaching, and living out his mission.
There were times when I am in a state of sorrow, down moments, sad and troubled. I realized that in the response of Jesus to be always of service to other people even if I too have a problem. I believe in the love and mercy of God. It is a calling for me to share my love and mercy to others, to set aside my negative feelings and to allow myself to help others and render my services in the best that I can do.