I arrived back this morning after an overnight bus and ferry journey. I’ll be GRAND after a good night’s sleep!
GOSPEL: Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. He handed the loaves to his disciples who gave them to the crowds.
When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food. ‘Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves’. But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me.’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds.
They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.
One simple message from Jesus healing the sick and feeding the hungry is his compassion for our needs. Today I came across this excerpt from the final address of my beloved pope Benedict XVI on trusting in Jesus’ abiding presence in his Church.