Advent Day 4: Come and Give

Today’s Gospel: Matthew 15: 29-37

“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.”

Two different miracles happen in this short passage from today’s Gospel reading. The first is physical healing and the second is the multiplication of loaves and fishes. In the healing miracles, we see Jesus taking care of those with serious health problems. In the second miracle, Jesus responds to the hunger of the crowd who had been with Him for three days and feeds them. His amazing miracles teach us about the power of Jesus, but the crowd and the disciples also reveal lessons for us to reflect upon during Advent.

The crowd shows us that we need to go to Jesus. If the crowd had not come to Jesus with the sick, the healing miracles would not have occurred. If the crowd had not remained with Him for three days, the miracle of multiplication would not have happened the way it did.

Jesus calls us to come to Him so many times and in so many ways. Yes, the Gospel today speaks of physical healing, Jesus came to heal us completely – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you ever feel broken, spiritually malnourished, or empty, remember that Jesus wants to work a miracle in your life.

Another important aspect to note is the roles that people played in the events of today’s Gospel. In the healing miracles, the men and women of the crowd laid the sick “at his feet.” In the multiplication miracle, the disciples bring the bread and fish to Jesus, and then distribute it to the crowd.

God wants us to share in His work. He is inviting you and your spouse to come to Him, and, through Him, to share in His work of love. In the first miracle, Jesus did not go house to house looking for people to heal. No, He responded to the sick who were brought before Him by the crowd. In the second miracle, Jesus did not share His own food or use rocks from the ground as part of this miracle. No, instead He invited the disciples to bring Him what they had. In both miracles we discern that God wants us to be a part of the story. We are being invited to step forward in faith and work with Him in bringing about miracles in the world!

Ponder Together:

In marriage and family, much is asked of us. The love we are called to is far too great for us to do on our own. It is in our weakness and brokenness that we can bring to Jesus those whom we have hurt or those we want to provide for and see Jesus perform miracles.

Pray Together:

Lord God, we thank you for the call to come to you and share in your work of love. Help us to come to you always, giving you all that we have that so that we may accomplish your will for us and our family!

Plan Together:

Make a plan to go to your local Church or Adoration Chapel and bring to Him your hurts, your longings, and personal failings and ask Him to perform the miracles that only He can.

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