Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
(Isaiah 25:6-10a; Matthew 15:29-37)
A generation ago it was said that the average American gained ten pounds over the year-end holidays. The added weight could hardly be less now. Perhaps, then, some will have difficulty appreciating Jesus’ concern about the people’s hunger in today’s gospel.
But just as the multiplying of loaves signifies the Eucharistic bread, so the hunger of the crowds is not so much physical as it is spiritual. Like people today, they crave meaning in their lives, acceptance of their efforts, and esteem for themselves as persons. Jesus fulfills all these needs. He loves each person who comes to him as an individual and invites all to join him in his Father’s kingdom.
The invitation does not come without expectation, however. If we are to join Jesus as his brothers and sisters, we must accept his help to live righteous lives. Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit that we might care for others with the same purity of heart that he loves us.