Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
While the liturgical seasons are meant to focus the faithful on one particular aspect of Christ’s life in salvation history, today’s readings are given so that we may always keep Christ’s entire life in our vision as we continue His mission on earth. We are reminded that our own power is insufficient to accomplish the task commissioned to us.
Thankfully, the Lord “will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines.” God supplies a food that has an eternal purpose, but also an immediate one for the present journey. In the Gospel, Jesus says out of the compassion of his humanity that he does not wish to send the people away hungry, “for fear they may collapse on the way.” They had brought their own food, but they did not realize how enraptured they would become by Christ, and so, after three days, they have but seven loaves and a few fish left. The beauty they have encountered has surpassed their expectations, and now they find themselves unprepared to return home and live out the love that they have witnessed. Christ, through his Apostles, feeds the crowds to give the power necessary to imitate Him. It is deeply significant that Christ has already removed their infirmities before feeding them. This is in order to signify the need to be healed of sin in anticipation for receiving food (which signifies the word of God). After being healed, fed, and having been sent out, we are able to realize the joy and peace that the Psalmist must have known when he proclaimed “He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side”.
During this Advent, let us seek healing of our illnesses so that we may receive pure food provided by Christ at the hands of the Apostles, for “blessed are those who are prepared to meet him.” Less than twenty days remain in this liturgical season, but the final hour has not been set when “the Lord comes to save his people”. May He find us “dwell[ing] in the house of the Lord,” purified and in His body, when He arrives.
Daniel Furey, '17
MAT Student and Retreat Assistant