Lk 9: 11b-17
When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.’
But he said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, ‘Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ They did so and made them all sit down.
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We are welcomed and fed
“Jesus welcomed them…” (LK 9:11a)
When I see a scripture notation such as Lk 9:11b-17, I wonder why verse 11a was omitted when it offers an important insight: Jesus welcomed the people, while the disciples were quick to dismiss them.
On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we remember that Jesus not only fed the five thousand men (and many uncounted women and children), we celebrate that Jesus gave himself to us as the most blessed sacrament, the Eucharist.
Jesus welcomed the people to hear his word and worried about their well-being when the disciples wanted to dismiss the people to fend for themselves.
Christ welcomes us to share in the Eucharist because our Savior worries that we, his body, may find ourselves easily dismissed to fend for ourselves.
Thank you for welcoming us and feeding us, Lord.
—Fr. Mark Luedtke, SJ, is completing his term as president of Loyola High School in Detroit and will soon leave for his tertianship experience in Cape Town, South Africa.
Lord Jesus, you know that we are hungry in both body and spirit. Create in us our hunger for you, for your body and blood, for your salvation. Only you can satisfy our hunger. In your most holy name we pray: Fill us with your love.
—Fr. Mark Luedtke, SJ