Daily Reflection – 12/4/19
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on 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 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 do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, 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 full. (Matthew 15:29-37)
Advent is a spiritual Spring time. It is the Lord’s preferred time for small miracles. The crowd following Jesus in the gospel was hungry, spiritually and physically. Like them, we should be looking and praying for a God who is with us, to provide for all our needs, and be able to truly accept that.
As we begin to prepare our hearts for Christmas, we should stop ad reflect on how our Christmas is the exact opposite of Christ’s Christmas! He had so little. We have so much. We have lights, Christmas trees, stockings, fireplaces, chestnuts roasting, presents, Rudolph, Frosty, sales and gift cards. The Lord only had His mother, the Father and a star above Him. He had so little yet had it all.
The manger scene is a quiet reminder to all of us: Do not judge. Do not judge. How quickly some would judge that very scene today and the family in that scene. Immigrants who have nothing and camping in a shelter for animals! How quickly we would shake our heads and conclude that they were a hopeless and helpless family. How wrong we would be! They are not hopeless or even helpless. They are Holy, a Holy Family, that which is missing in so many of our families today.
The Lord had little and yet, he had it all! The Lord had His mother, the Father, and their unconditional love.
Faith does not come from human ingenuity or craftiness. Hope does not come from material wealth. Joy does not come from comfort. Love does not come from the bottom up. Faith, hope, joy and love come from God who gives us our identity and our mission. Mary knew what she was doing. Joseph knew what he was doing. Christ knew what he was doing. For this reason alone, nothing – no one, no circumstance – would influence their life more than God. This is what brings joy to the world, to us.
Let’s reflect on the manger scene, on a stable that has no Christ. Now let’s reflect on a home that has no Christ; on a life that is devoid of Christ.
Yes, we love to size things (and people) up. We size them up either scientifically or psychologically, but rarely spiritually. And by doing so, not only do we size things up incorrectly; we also miss out on the best part of life: its meaning.
No wonder the poor in spirit are constantly teaching and feeding the prideful at heart.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you alone can satisfy the longing and hunger in our hearts. May I thirst for your kingdom and find joy in your presence. Give me the true bread of heaven and nourish me with your life-giving word.
Our lives are stressful, and we become tired; the mind eventually affects the body. We spend sleepless nights, experience aches and pains, sadness and tears. Advent is a time for anticipation: the Lord will always be there for us, but like the crowd, we feel vulnerable. We need to live the meaning of trust. To trust Him is to believe that he will take care of us, that His will is the will that guides and protects us, that His love will surround us and cleave to our hearts.