READINGS for 2007-12-05
TIME TO DIET!
“I do not want to send them away hungry…” – Matthew 15:32
It’s not a very good feeling – to always be full. You feel a little craving an hour after you’ve just had lunch and you grab a biscuit, or a fruit. You feel a pang after mid-afternoon snacks, shortly before dinner and you munch on chips, or bite on a piece of bread.
No time to be hungry equals not a good feeling.
And, it’s actually sad not being able to be hungry once in a while. I almost miss that feeling of hunger.
Nothing after six. No rice. No carbonated drinks. What a challenge.
But what a joy it was too. To actually be lighter and feel fresher.
The Lord fed the 4,000 and everyone was satisfied. We need feeding.
Every day. And more and more each day if we really want to grow in the Lord.
Holiness is hunger, my friend.
The deep yearning for God can only be found when we are open to the ache of not having enough of Him. Of wanting Him more and more.
For this advent season, I would certainly want that...
To be hungry that I may be holy. Lallaine G.
How is my “spiritual diet”?
Lord, You are the Bread of Life. Reveal to me the things I can do without, so that I can have more room for You. Amen.
Isaiah’s heavenly vision continues. This time we hear him speaking of a time when all weeping will be gone; the only tears that we will experience will be the tears of joy of being in the presence of God forever! Isaiah speaks at a time of trouble and even exile for many of the Israelites. They were fast losing hope. The visions he shares are visions that may not be experienced in this life, but their promise gives hope that a better existence awaits us beyond this world.
6 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. 7 On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; 8 he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. 9 On that day it will be said, “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” 10 For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.
P S A L M
Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
R: I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; 3 he refreshes my soul. (R) He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. (R) 5 You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
G O S P E L
Jesus feeds the many people who have gathered to hear Him speak and heal the sick. This seems to indicate to me that Jesus wants to assure that He has their entire needs, including the earthly needs, food and drink, at heart. This in no way means that no one will ever starve in the world but that there is indeed sufficient food to feed everyone if only we would learn to share it. This is one of the great challenges that faces the global community – to ensure an equitable distribution of the world’s resources.
29 Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. 30 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. 31 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. 32 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.” 33 The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” 35 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 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. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over — seven baskets full.
think: What are we doing to ensure equal distribution of the world’s goods?
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Corinthians 15-16
SEVEN BASKETS FULL
When we read and reflect on the Gospel today, quite often we either overlook or notice but give rather very little significance to the detail that says that after the crowd had its fill, there were seven baskets full of collected scraps left. Certainly, Jesus had His eyes on the future. Did He not oversee that there would be too much food to feed the crowd? Did He not know beforehand that there would be seven baskets full of collected scraps in the end? And why seven baskets? Why not three or five or ten or twelve? Why seven?
Three things why.
First, the fact that there was so much food left after the hungry people ate as much as they wanted teaches us that God does not only provide us with what is enough. He also gives us more than enough. In Him is abundance of everything that is good. He is not stingy with His blessings. Second, seven is a perfect number for the Jews. God does not only supply us with what is more than enough. God gives us perfectly what we need. In the abundance of His providence toward us is the perfection of His grace upon us.
Third, the seven baskets full of nourishment foreshadow the overflowing and inexhaustible wealth that Jesus inaugurates by His coming. This unfathomable treasure remains available to us through the Church with her seven sacraments. Instituted by Christ to give grace, the seven sacraments answer to the deepest hungers we have at certain periods in our lives. The miracle today is more than just the multiplication of loaves and fish. The miracle continues even today as the seven baskets do not run empty and we are continuously being fed from them. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Am I continuously nourished from the “seven baskets full”?
Jesus, Bread from Heaven, come down and dwell in me. Jesus, Bread of the Angels, have mercy and feed me. Jesus, Bread of Life, use me and make my life like Thine. Amen.
St. Julius, martyr, pray for us.
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