Gospel Reflections

Feast of Corpus Christi

Luke 9:11b-17

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Marie-Angele Kitewo

Published: June 23, 2019

 “They ate and all were satisfied.” (Lk. 9:17)

It is interesting to notice a link between the two miracles using bread to feed hungry crowds. These two miracles took place in an almost identical geographic milieu: the desert. They are also characterized by a context which involves divine intervention.  

In the Old Testament the people revolt against the fact that they were obliged to leave Egypt where there was an abundance of food and drink; they were led into the desert where there was a famine. (Ex.16:3). This painful experience moved the Hebrew people to distance themselves from God, to forget the many generous signs which had been performed on their behalf!  

It was God who intervened by making manna rain down, bread from heaven. This was a manifestation of the infinite love of God toward his people.  Not only did God intervene, but more: God took care of the people 100% day by day. The manna and quail were provided right until their entrance into the Promised Land.  

As for the multiplication of bread in the New Testament, according to the evangelist Luke, the miracle was the result of a collaboration between God and the crowd, a meeting of divine action and that of humans.  The crowd offered five (5) loaves of bread and two (2) fish. Jesus prayed over them, blessed them and gave them to the disciples to serve to the crowd.
Let us follow Jesus’ actions attentively: “He lifted his eyes to heaven,” (gave thanks to God) “blessed them,” (made the goodness of God descend upon them), “broke them,” (increased their number) “and gave them to the disciples to serve to the crowd.”

Let us reflect on the action of “breaking.” It was only after all the bread and the two fish had been divided into pieces that the miracle took place and the distribution made possible so that each one could receive a portion.  Considered in this light, the miracle of the multiplication of bread was a miracle of sharing. Indeed, the multiplication was only a consequence of breaking and sharing.   

Faithful to his own philosophy, Jesus uses the same actions in the institution of the sacrament of the Eucharist. (Lk 22:19-20). In this manner he gives himself as food to generations of every age and every century.  Given this fact, the Eucharist is the sacrament of sharing! It is through this sharing that crowds and hungry people may be nourished, because they are related to their beneficiaries. They will be able to survive and flourish and be enabled to bear fruit in abundance.  

Jesus in the Eucharist is given to us as a sign of sharing ALL he is in order that we might live in him, and witness to this life.  Our missionary service across the world as Sisters of Notre Dame, women consecrated to making known the goodness of God, can only find its meaning and fidelity through the sharing of Eucharistic riches.
May Jesus in the Eucharist find his dwelling in each one of us; may he remain and make of us faithful agents of his mission!  
Good devotion to all!


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