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Gospel text (Mt 15,29-37):
Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee, and then went up into the hills where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the dumb, the blind, the lame, the crippled, and many with other infirmities. The people carried them to the feet of Jesus, and he healed them. All were astonished when they saw the dumb speaking, the lame walking, the crippled healed and the blind able to see; so they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus called his disciples and said to them, "I am filled with compassion for these people; they have already followed me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away fasting, or they may faint on the way". His disciples said to him, "And where shall we find enough bread in this wilderness to feed such a crowd?". Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?". They answered, "Seven, and a few small fish". So Jesus ordered the people to sit on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the small fish and gave thanks to God. He broke them and gave them to his disciples, who distributed them to the people.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the leftover broken pieces filled seven wicker baskets.
‘How many loaves do you have?’. They answered, ‘Seven, and a few small fish’
Today we reflect on the multiplication of the bread and fish in the Gospel. Many people —Matthew states— "came to him" (Mt 15:30). Men and women who were in need of Christ: blind people, cripples and sick people of every kind, together with those who accompanied them. We are all in need of Christ. Of his tenderness, his forgiveness, his light, his mercy... In him, the fullness of all that is human can be found.
Today's Gospel makes us aware of the need for men who will lead others to Christ. Those who bring Jesus the sick so that he can cure them are the image of all those who know that the greatest act of charity towards their fellow man is to get them close to Christ, the source of our life. A life of faith demands holiness and apostolate.
Saint Paul urges us (Phil 2:5) to have the same feelings as Christ. This story shows what Jesus' heart is like: "I am filled with compassion for these people". He cannot leave them, because they are hungry and tired. Christ searches man out in his necessity and manages to be there for us to find. How good he is to us!; and how important we people are for him! Our hearts swell with gratitude, admiration and a sincere wish for conversion.
This God made man, all-powerful, who loves us passionately, and whom we need in everything and for everything —"apart from me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5)— paradoxically requires something from us as well: this is the meaning of the seven loaves of bread and the few fish that he will use to feed a crowd. If we really realized how much Jesus counts on us, and of the value of all we do for him, as small as it is, we would try all the harder to correspond to him with all our being.
Fr. Joan COSTA i Bou
Audio: Wednesday 1st of Advent
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