Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

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Gospel: Matthew 15: 29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

Reflection:

The liturgical season of Advent began in the year A.D. 380 with the Council of Saragosa. Originally, it was a time of preparation for those converting to Christianity but evolved into a period of time when the church focused on the waiting for the second coming of Christ. Just as Israel waited for the coming of the Messiah, the Christian church waited for Christ to come again.

While we indeed await the second coming of Christ and prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas, we must also be mindful that Jesus has already fulfilled the prophesies of Isaiah.

We hear in today’s Gospel from St. Matthew that Jesus has already set the captives free. Through the power of His presence, we now have the ability to be freed from our tendency to withdraw from life and love because we have had our hearts broken.

Jesus has already given sight to the blind, so we should now be able to see our dignity, our worthiness, and our being included in our Father’s family. We have already been rescued from being crippled by fear that results in “playing small.” Jesus feeds us, sustains us, and nourishes us in the abundant grace that fills us in our reception of the Eucharist. It is this grace that gives us the ability to live abundantly.

Most importantly, we have been reconciled to the Father by the death and resurrection of our Lord. We are living right now in the new and everlasting covenant. So if Jesus has already fulfilled the mission, what are we waiting for? Perhaps it’s the other way around! Perhaps it’s not we who are waiting for Jesus, but rather, it’s Jesus who is waiting of us! Perhaps it’s Jesus waiting for us to truly live in the awareness of His Gospel — that we are free, that we see clearly that we are healed, fed, and forgiven.

It is Jesus waiting for us, as His disciples, to fully live in this awareness.

– Fr. Drew Miller

Action Step:

Jesus continues to feed and nourish us in our reception of the Eucharist.   How often do you take the opportunity to receive him during holy communion?   Let us grab the opportunity to receive Christ in the blessed sacrament whenever we can.

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