"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."
This miracle of feeding the multitude was a fore-shadowing of Jesus giving us his very self in the Eucharist. This crowd had been with Jesus for three days and Jesus had cured their illness and disabilities, but it doesn't say anything in the reading about Jesus forgiving their sins, as such. Still, Jesus fed them. And Jesus didn't put any conditions on this meal. He didn't just feed the "good" people. (Jesus didn't just feed the "good" people at the Last Supper either!) Earlier in the reading, Jesus told the disciples his heart is moved with pity for the crowd. (v. 32) The crowd, in the state of their very humanness, moved Jesus' heart. Yes, Jesus fed their growling stomachs, but Jesus also fed their sagging spirits. Jesus is the nourishment we need in our weak human condition, sinners, are we all. We cannot make ourselves worthy of Jesus, though we can prepare our hearts and minds to be open to Jesus' coming. Jesus tells that, the way to welcome him, is to welcome the stranger. The way to care for Jesus is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and embrace the un-embraceable. Wonderful food for our Advent journey! Love, heidi
(Reminder: today is the last day of the parish mission! 9:00 AM at Holy Rosary, 7:00 PM at Christ the King)