December 1, Wednesday, First Week of Advent
Daily Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10, Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 & Matthew 15:29-37
Both readings of the day speak of food for spiritual and physical enjoyment. In the first reading, Isaiah presented good and plentiful food as a sign of the time of the Messiah.
In the Gospel reading, the opening scene of today's Gospel is Jesus walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. After a time, Jesus went up on the mountain and a multitude of people followed Him. When Jesus sat down, the people came bringing to Him the sick, the lame and others with all sorts of illnesses and diseases. When each of these individuals approached Jesus, He quietly healed them. He simply had compassion for them.
Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in the multiplication of bread that Jesus performed his ministry of healing, preaching and nourishing for the thousands of people. Satisfying our desire for good and necessary nourishment is a straightforward way to indicate what God wants to do for us.
The image of food reminds us to expect the necessary inspiration, strength and nourishment for our lives as Christians from the Lord. If we live in the Eucharist and the Scripture, we will be like the crowd in the Gospel, eat and be satisfied.
In today's world, it may not appear that many miracles are happening. Yet if we look deeply with eyes of faith, we may see the miracles that happen every day. They may be small miracles but are graces and gifts from God for us. We all are ill in some way and needed for Jesus' healing. Let us bring our request, our longing for healing, to Jesus with full of trust in Him.
Mother Teresa said about Jesus, 'He uses us to be his love and compassion in the world despite our weaknesses and frailties.' In this miracle, Jesus produces food out of nowhere. He takes the little that the apostles have, and he multiplies it a thousand-fold. No matter how little I think I have to give, once I freely place my gifts in Jesus' service, they become limitless. In the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, I am reminded that Jesus can also provide spiritual sustenance beyond my imagining. There is a miracle between what I give and what the Lord makes of it.