Sampling God’s Generosity

Matthew 15: 29-37

Is 25: 6-10 / Ps 23: 1- 6

He gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples…
(Matthew 15:36)

Lord, You provide for all peoples

A feast of rich food and choice wine*;

You multiply Your disciples

As we partake Your Bread divine.

Great crowds came to Jesus bringing their infirmed and crippled for healing. They placed them at His feet, and He cured them all. 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. Then Jesus summoned His apostles, and said, “My heart is moved with pity for these people; they have been with Me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry; they may faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven, and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit on the ground. Then He took the loaves and fish, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to His disciples to be distributed to the people. All the four thousand men, besides women and children ate their fill. When the fragments left over were gathered, they collected seven baskets full. (Matthew 15:29-37)

Reflection

Matthew’s Gospel relates that on two occasions our Lord Jesus fed thousands of hungry people who followed Him for healing and conversion. Why did He perform this miracle of the multiplication of bread twice? On the surface, it would appear to be a good ‘marketing strategy’ for attracting the multitudes to Himself to hear His Good News of salvation, saving Jesus and His apostles the time and trouble of visiting all the villages and towns in Galilee. But there were more important reasons for these miracles of nourishment. First of all, as a mark of God’s unfailing kindness, Jesus always used His powers to serve the people in their times of need. Secondly, Jesus, Who called Himself the Bread of Life, (Jn.6:35) wanted to emphasize to all who would listen (and read) that He is the vital link between the Old Testament, when manna from heaven saved the Israelites in the desert, and the modern Church today, wherein millions of Christians receive Him daily in the Holy Eucharist.

Receiving Jesus as often as we can in the holy Mass has made us realize that we can also be involved in another miracle of multiplication – that is, in every good deed that we perform. Every act of kindness is like a living bread that replicates itself in the hearts of others who receive it. Why not make it a rule in this season of Advent to do good whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself? This is the best way to reciprocate God’s blessings in our life.

What is Jesus’ message for us today? It is a message of hope – in the abundance that God gives to His sheep who follow Him. Jesus took care of all the needs of the people following Him. As long as we are followers of Christ Jesus, we shall never go hungry, or be in need for anything in our life’s journey. It is a great comfort of faith believing with all our hearts that God will always provide. We must therefore never hold back from those who come to us in need. Otherwise, how can we merit the hope of “living in the house of the Lord for years to come”? (Psalm 23:6).

May the Lord help us to discard our greed for the comforts and privileges of this life, and replace it with His gift of generosity so that we can lovingly share our resources with the sick and the destitute this Christmas. May we never again be affected by temporal concerns that only block our vision of the eternal — may we realize that nothing of this world really counts. Only His love matters. May we always be aware of that.

Jesus, our Living Bread, may every good deed that we do multiply Your presence in the hearts of men, especially those whom we touch with Your Living Word. Amen.

Leave a Reply