Today’s Gospel invites the audience into Jesus’ mission and ministry. Jesus ‘made the crowds welcome’ even when he was tired and seeking solace. Jesus spent time talking to the crowd about the kingdom of God and curing those in need of healing.
These actions give us a deep insight into Jesus’ capacity for compassion and unconditional love. In this account, it seems that Jesus was not concerned about time and place but simply allowed himself to be with the people who were hungry to spend time with him.
It is curious that the only people concerned about time and place were the Twelve who alerted Jesus to the onset of evening and the need for food and shelter. Imagine their surprise when Jesus was happy to organise the crowd into smaller groups and share what little he had available to him as a solution.
The miracle, it seems, is that Jesus’ message of the kingdom of God resonated with the crowd who became community through this simple act. It is fitting that many parishes choose this day to invite children to their First Holy Communion on this day. Children come with nervous anticipation to meet Jesus in the Eucharist. On this Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, they are welcomed and strengthened by the presence of the community who wrap their love around them and celebrate in joyful hope that they, like the crowds on the hillside, will continue to be hungry to spend time with Jesus to seek healing and learn about God’s kingdom.