Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (6: 34-44) in which Jesus, full of compassion, teaches a large crowd and gives them something to eat.

Today’s Gospel, Fr Paul says, can be read at a number of levels.  It can be a foretaste of the Eucharist with the disciples gathered around Jesus. It can be Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who feeds his flock.  It can be Jesus the prophet, a prophet like Moses, who provides manna for his people in the desert. The bottom line, says Fr Paul, is simply that the people were fed and fully satisfied through the meal that Jesus provided to the point where, as we hear in the Gospel, they all ate as much as they wanted and they collected the scraps.

Fr Paul invites us to reflect that this is the very reason that the Church proclaims that the Eucharistic is the source and summit of the Christian life.  It is where we are nourished by the Lord. It is where, like in today’s Gospel, we gather around Jesus and we are fed and nourished.