After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”
The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I love the images in today’s readings. Isaiah pictures the Lord serving His people a feast of rich food and choice wine. How appropriate is this image as we recall our recent celebration of Thanksgiving with family and friends. Indeed, this is our God, let us rejoice and be glad! And let us not forget that we are called to share every gift God gives us with the poor and the hungry.
In Matthew we hear of mutes speaking, the deformed being made whole, the lame walking and the blind seeing–all glorifying God. I can imagine being there and asking myself, who is this person Jesus, doing these amazing things? I may not be certain of the answer to this question, but I certainly want to stick around and see what else he might do!
The last image is of a Jesus whose heart is filled with pity, for he fears people will collapse on their way home if he sends them away hungry. I can imagine being in that crowd, seeing the love and concern in Jesus’ eyes as he looks directly at me. He will always walk with me, of this I am certain. In this season of Advent, we recall that Jesus becomes human so we may know God and his unconditional love for us. Jesus calls us to complete his work in the world today.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Stir up your power, O Lord, and come to our help with mighty strength. May we run with hearts full of hope towards the birthday of Jesus Christ, our Savior. All glory to you,
Holy God!—The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!