Feeding the multitudes by Bernardo Strozzi, early 17th century (Public Domain)


First reading 1 John 4:7-10

Let us love one another, since love comes from God

My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

Responsorial Psalm 71(72):1-4,7-8

All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
O God, give your judgement to the king,
  to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
  and your poor in right judgement.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
May the mountains bring forth peace for the people
  and the hills, justice.
May he defend the poor of the people
  and save the children of the needy.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
In his days justice shall flourish
  and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
  from the Great River to earth’s bounds.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

Gospel Mark 6:34-44

The feeding of the five thousand

As Jesus stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late. So send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’ ‘How many loaves have you?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people together in groups on the green grass, and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all. They all ate as much as they wanted. They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

God is love

In today’s first reading, St. John proclaims the truth of who God is: “God is love”. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to reveal the depth  of His love to humanity. In the gospel, when Jesus saw the hunger of the people, He was not indifferent to their needs. Instead, He was filled with compassion and expressed His love in two ways: teaching them at some length and feeding them with bread and fish. Today, Jesus is  present with us to nourish the deepest hunger of our hearts. We might not be physically hungry for food, but perhaps we might be hungering  for unconditional love, hungering for the warmth of a home, hungering for being accepted. Let us not be afraid to go close to Jesus, our  Good Shepherd, and allow Him to feed us with His love.
“Give them something to eat yourselves”.Many people around us are like sheep without a shepherd. Today, Jesus also wants us to be His presence of love and compassion. Through us, He wants to feed the hunger of others so that they too can experience God’s life-giving love. 
Question for reflection:
Do I share God’s love for others?
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.