The Marian feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is providentially illuminated by today’s Gospel.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The Marian feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is providentially illuminated by today’s Gospel. In it, Mark recalls Jesus’ saying, “I have compassion for the crowd.” Knowing that Jesus does not look at us with pretension but with compassion is indeed comforting. He takes our hunger and our thirst seriously: “They have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.”
What does Jesus expect of us? That we hold on to our lives, especially when we hunger and thirst for love, understanding, hope, meaning, justice, forgiveness. Jesus wants to give us everything that makes our life worth living. That is why the feeding of the multitude is also about Jesus wholeheartedly taking care of our truest and deepest needs.
Lourdes represents God’s caring for the suffering of the multitude that goes there because they feel their pain is taken seriously and compassionately. Mary is the one who, more than anyone else, makes Jesus’ compassion visible. To keep us from feeling alone, the Lord has given us His own Mother as our Mother – so that nothing in our lives escapes Christ’s compassionate gaze.
This is the miracle of Lourdes: to feel that we are fully loved, regardless of our physical, mental, and spiritual condition.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.