Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Share On

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 15, 29-37

Jesus went on from there and reached the shores of the Lake of Galilee, and he went up onto the mountain. He took his seat,

and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them.

The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.

But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, or they might collapse on the way.'

The disciples said to him, 'Where in a deserted place could we get sufficient bread for such a large crowd to have enough to eat?'

Jesus said to them, 'How many loaves have you?' They said, 'Seven, and a few small fish.'

Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground,

and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks he broke them and began handing them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds.

They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this time of Advent we will be guided especially by the evangelist Matthew and when we get closer to Christmas by some passages of the first chapters of Luke. Today’s passage accompanies us with the story of Jesus who, after returning to Galilee, once again goes up the mountain. Matthew writes: "He passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down." In the biblical tradition, the mountain represents the place where the Lord can be encountered. The evangelist wants to show how tightly Jesus’ mission is bound to his relationship with the Father in heaven. It is from the Father that Jesus’ works of love, compassion, healing, and salvation flow. That high place, which reveals the unique intimacy between the Father and the Son, becomes like a sanctuary to which the sick, the poor, and the lame flock to be welcomed and healed. The evangelist notes that Jesus healed the sick and spoke to all those who flocked to him. The people listened for three days - how unlike the greed and the distraction we often display when listening to the word of God! At the end of the three days, Matthew writes, "Jesus felt compassion for the crowd." In effect, after having fed them with the bread of his word, he now wanted to feed them with bread for the body. Jesus is concerned about the entire person; he cares for every aspect of our lives. The disciples, on the other hand, are insensitive to the situation. When Jesus points it out to them and asks them to help, they only respond with their sad resignation; there is nothing they can do. We would have answered in the same way. But Jesus, who is not resigned, tells them to bring him the seven loaves and the fish, and he multiplies them for all. This miracle is born from passionate love. This Gospel passage is an urgent invitation for us to let ourselves be moved by the same compassion that Jesus feels for the weak and the poor so that we too might participate in the miracle of the multiplication of love.