The Gospel Today
Tuesday after Epiphany
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.
Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):
The Gospel for today speaks about the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. It was indeed a miracle to feed thousands of people, not including women and children, with only five loaves and two fish. This miraculous event only shows how powerful and loving Jesus is. Powerful in a sense that He is truly divine and He can perform miracles as He wills. Loving in a sense that He is compassionate to those who long for Him.
The focus of my reflection is about Jesus as a loving God. We read in the Gospel that the crowd, who came from different places, wanted to see Him and to listen to His teachings disregarding the fact that they will soon get hungry and tired. Jesus was moved with pity to the people who made effort to come. He saw the hunger in their eyes, hunger that was not just physical but especially spiritual. Jesus did not think twice to help these people to ease the hunger. He taught them what they needed to know then He distributed bread and fish afterwards.
If we truly long for Jesus, He will definitely give us whatever we need. It is important to remember that we have to come first and look for Him then He will satisfy our hunger. God is so gracious that He will never let us go astray and He will never leave us empty handed. As it is said in Mark 11:24, “For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” God will never outdone of generosity and that is how He loves us.
Whatever we need at this very moment, whether it is about passing the exam, healing, conversion, financial matters, broken relationships, etc., we are invited to come back to the Lord and present to Him our needs with full trust and I believe that He will never say ‘no’ to our request because He is a generous God, the God who lovingly satiates the thirst of His people.