by Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C. Pastor
Tuesday Epiphany Week
Jesus pities the people who followed him for three days,
listening to his teaching as he fed their spirits.
He knows there hungry for food and has compassion for them.
They were like sheep without a shepherd.
So he takes the five loaves two fish
and does something that signifies the Eucharist.
In this passage, Jesus takes the bread, blesses it,
breaks it and gives it out to all to eat until they are full.
This prefigures the Eucharist, when at the Last Supper
he took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to the disciples.
The bread that Jesus gives us in the Eucharist is Himself,
the life of the world.
Like a good Shepherd Jesus feeds us
because of the compassion, he has for us.
The words “compassion” and “Eucharist”
go together in today’s passage of the feeding of the 5000.
Jesus has compassion on the crowd
who were in a deserted place and hungry.
He has the same compassion for us every day
who hunger for the Bread of Life.
There are many people we meet every day
who are without the Shepherd.
May the Food we receive from our Lord’s Table
fill our hearts with enough compassion
that they will experience the good Shepherd, Jesus, in us.