Today's Gospel: Mark 6:34-44, Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop
In today's gospel passage from Mark 6, we read the account of the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the feeding of the five thousand. The gospel passage opens with the imagery of Christ as shepherd, showing compassion for his flock. It's late, they are in a deserted place, and the people are hungry!
Jesus sends his disciples among the crowd to gather what little food they have. Taking only five loaves and two fishes, Jesus looks to heaven, blesses and breaks the meager food supply, and nourishes the many with food to spare.
Today's reminder of the primacy of the Eucharist in the place of the Church is fitting as we celebrate the life and spiritual legacy of St. John Neumann. This holy man who traveled all the way to the United States to pursue his dream of a vocation gave his life to spiritually housing and feeding the faithful. St. John Neumann said of the Blessed Sacrament:
"A cloud of incense was rising on high; the people suddenly all bowed low; what could it mean? The truth flashed on him, fearfully yet sweetly; it was the Blessed Sacrament — it was the Lord Incarnate who was on the altar, who had come to visit and bless his people. It was the Great Presence, which makes a Catholic Church different from every other place in the world; which makes it, as no other place can be — holy." ~ John Henry Cardinal Newman, in Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert
Today, as we pray through the intercession of St. John Neumann, let us redouble our passion for Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us remember too the need to share our gifts with those most in need as we endeavor to live out the true meaning of the Year of Mercy.
How can you follow the example of St. John Neumann in giving your life to share the faith with those around you? How does reception of the Eucharist impact you spiritually.
St. John Neumann, you gave your life to share the faith in churches and schools. Intercede for me today that I might be energized to share my love for Jesus Christ in word and deed.
Copyright 2016 Lisa M. Hendey
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Her articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and the Catholic Press Association tour of Israel as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Hendey lives with her family in the Diocese of Fresno, California.