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Wednesday, first week of Advent

December 5, 2007

Blessed Wednesday!

Isaiah 25: 6-10 (God’s feast and salvation on the mountain)
Psalm 23 “I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”
+ Matthew 15: 29-37 (Jesus healing and feeding the crowd on the mountain)

Once again we come to the Lord on His holy mountain. We leave behind our daily life in the valley to fix all our attention on the One Who saves us, the One who frees and feeds us through His Church (the continuation throughout time of His tangible Presence here on earth).

As the cripples, deformed, blind and mute are brought up the mountain to Jesus, He frees them from their disabilities in fulfillment of the divine promise made so long before. The Fathers of the Church saw these disabilities as foreshadowings of some of the failings we bring to Christ today. The mute are they that do not praise God; the blind, they who do not understand the paths of life; the deaf, they that obey not; the lame, they that walk not firmly through the difficult ways of good works; the maimed, they that are crippled in their good works. Today, as then, He sets us free when we come, or are brought, to His mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Confession. This in itself is enough to astonish and uplift. As the crowds see the disabled made whole they glorify the God of Israel.

But Jesus isn’t satisfied. His heart is moved to compassion by our hunger. We have been with Him three days–the three days of the Paschal mystery (His death, burial and resurrection) which is re-presented in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He does not want us to faint on the way. He provides for us the richest food possible: His very own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, served to each personally from golden vessels amid a festive, candle-lit banquet. And there are leftovers, precious fragments that must be gathered and preserved for those who were not with us.

Perhaps today we could look for Jesus in the feasts that are so much a part of this season. May they point us to this ultimate feast which will be consummated in the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb in Heaven (see Revelation 19:6-9).

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