December 1, 2004
Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
John Doyle, LC
At that time: Jesus walked by the
Sea of Galilee, went up the mountain, and sat down
there. 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.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind
being able to see, and they glorified the God of
Israel. 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." 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 have you?" "Seven, they
replied, and a few small fish." He ordered the crowd
to sit down on the ground. Then he took the
seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave
them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over — seven baskets
Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, help me to spend these few minutes
with you. Help me to leave aside my worries and
concerns and go up the mountain to seek you out.
Petition:My Jesus, help me to recognize and thank you for
your gift of self to me in the Eucharist.
on the Mountain. Jesus is the focal point of history
and of all human aspirations. Even when he goes to
out-of-the-way places, as is the case in this Gospel passage,
he is sought after. He strides by the Sea of
Galilee and scales up the mountain, and all humanity seeks
him out. He doesn’t interrogate them about their past or
condemn them for their sins. He simply gives to each
what he or she needs: to the blind, sight; to
the mute, the gift of speech; to the deaf, hearing.
Imagine for a moment this poor mass of humanity around
the Master. Place yourself with them. Your turn comes, and
suddenly it is as if the crowd disappears and you
are alone with Jesus. He looks into your eyes with
loving concern and asks what you are seeking––even though he
already knows it. My Jesus it is you that I
seek. Heal me and do not let any sin separate
me from you today.
2. “They Have Nothing to Eat.” Love
is not always very practical. Jesus’ heart is moved with
compassion for all those who have sought him out. He
knows the sacrifices that they have made in searching him
out and he is not going to leave them disappointed.
The disciples only saw the practical problem, but in his
charity towards his neighbor, Jesus all but ignores it. What
can I learn from this attitude of Christ? Will I
ever be let down or not be satisfied if I
seek Christ with a sincere heart?
3. The Bread
of Life. The miracle that Jesus works in multiplying the
loaves is a prelude to an even greater miracle he
plans to bring about. Jesus knows the longings of our
hearts and he knows that material food has its limits,
even when it is as abundant. St Augustine states, “You
made us for yourself, Oh Lord, and our hearts are
restless until they rest in you.” The Eucharist is truly
Christ’s greatest gift to humanity, sustaining us on our earthly
pilgrimage. Our Holy Father affirms––in his recent apostolic letter “Mane
Nobiscum” (Stay with Us, Lord) written for the Year of
the Blessed Eucharist––that the Bread of Life is the supreme
fulfillment of Christ’s promise to be with us always, to
the end of the ages.
Dialogue with Christ: My Jesus
I have a very wayward heart. I know that you
are the only one who can fulfill the longing of
my soul, and yet I so often seek after the
fleeting things of this world. Set my heart straight and
keep me going up the mountain where I will find
you and all I desire.
Resolution: I will pause sometime during
the day––perhaps before lunch––and make a spiritual communion by inviting
Christ into my heart and thanking him for the gift
of himself in the blessed Eucharist.
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