Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
In today’s Gospel, Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee and encounters "great crowds" of needy folks: the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute…and He cured them! And He lovingly fed them with the seven loaves of bread and the few fish that his disciples had brought along. There were leftovers…and the Message of God’s Love continues to be spread by you and me.
I can’t help but think of the crowds of recent days…crowds of shoppers, some even turning to violence in pursuit of their "treasures". Definitely some needy folks, like those of long ago. Dealing with loneliness, frustration, various physical and psychological illnesses, selfishness and greed, a consumer spirit, etc. Jesus wants to come and meet their needs, cure their aches and pains, and feed their spirits…with a great feast like that mentioned in our first reading from Isaiah.
Among ancient peoples bread was the fundamental source of nourishment, and therefore a symbol of all the good things needed to sustain life. Even now we speak of a person who earns a living for their family as the "bread-winner". Who of us can resist the inviting aroma of fresh-baked bread and the warm feelings that bread inspires?
This Advent we journey as people of hope – needy, hungry people seeking Jesus who is "Bread for the Life of the world"…Life that is wholesome and lasts! Advent becomes a celebration of the transformation of all creation – in Jesus! These special days we look to the great event of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem (House of Bread), to Jesus’ presence in our midst in the Eucharist and the Scriptures and one another, as well as the great coming of Jesus at the end of all time. These days let’s open our hearts to God who saves us, nourishes us, and loves us even to the last drop of His Life’s Blood.
As Church we pray: Come, Lord Jesus!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.