January 4, 2022

Today, the liturgy continues the post Epiphany proclamation that the Lord has been manifested to the nations. The gospel choice reminds us that this manifestation is proclaimed and celebrated wondrously in the Eucharist. The four gospel writers show a particular liking for the story of the feeding of the multitude, and this is reflected in the number of times this story appears in the liturgical year. And happily so. We do not travel far on our yearly pilgrimage without hearing one of the evangelist’s record of this event, an event that contains the promise of the Eucharist to come.

As Father Carroll Stuhlmueller wrote, the feeding of the multitude, “was a tribute to the compassion of Jesus rather than a manifestation of his power,” an appropriate observation for a member of the Passionist Community. This compassion roused the Heart of Jesus to take the loaves, bless them, break them, and give them to the disciples to give to the people. As Mark describes the actions of Jesus, they have already become the pattern for the early church and his own community in the weekly gathering for the Breaking of the Bread.

As the family of Eymard, who saw the Eucharist as the gift of the Heart of Jesus, our compassionate gaze is directed outwards, alert to those times, places, and people to whom we are called to “give them some food” ourselves. Our Eucharistic Lord has set us an example of compassion, and, as Blessed Carlo Acutis said, “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we become like Jesus” so that we might do the same.

Let Us Pray:

Lord Jesus, as we feast on the Bread of Life, your gift to a hungry world, may we become bread for others.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About George Dunne, SSS