Three short readings: Isaiah, Psalms and Matthew. Here we find, almost in bullet point clarity, messages of Faith and Hope and Love. Faith and Hope and Love so desperately needed in our world and country torn by division, hate and violence.
Isaiah reiterates God’s promise that to his faithful people he will provide “… rich food and fine wines.” If we are faithful to His Law and Commands, and persevere in hope, He will not be outdone in rewarding us.
The Psalmist echoes and expands on Isaiah. God “… spreads the table…”, gives “rest, refreshment, guidance, courage, goodness and kindness.” Did God intend that this Psalm would be not only a promise of boundless reward, but a lesson to us as well? Was He saying that He wanted us to share His abundant gifts with the broken and marginalized around us? What if we did that?
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus goes to a “deserted” place, but four or more thousand follow Him bringing with them “… the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute and many others.” We are not told what the crowd had already heard or seen to inspire them to follow Jesus for three days, even into a deserted place, with the faith and hope that the love of Jesus could and would bring miraculous healing. It did.
Then, having shown the healing power of God at work in His people, Jesus miraculously feeds the throng with “seven” loaves and “a few fish.” He shows and He personalizes. Now they have not only seen, but many have felt the almost incredible effects of their healing and all have felt their hunger fed and satisfied. One might clearly see in the feeding the humanity of Jesus who did it because “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.”
One might also see that when Jesus “gave thanks” and “broke the loaves” and gave them to the disciples to be distributed He was prefiguring the institution of the Eucharist.
Isaiah 25: 6–10a; Psalm 23: 1– a, 3b, 4- 6; Matthew 15: 29–37
May the Passion of Jesus Christ be Always in Our Hearts.