Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Reading Isaiah 25:6-10
Gospel Matthew 15:29-37

For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.

The first sentence of today’s Gospel passage sets the scene by echoing two earlier scenes in Scripture. One scene occurs ten chapters earlier in Matthew. There, before beginning the Sermon on the Mount, we hear this: “Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.” These disciples are models for us in their ascent of the mountain to be near Jesus. Of course, both of these occasions in Matthew echo the scene in Exodus where Moses brings the Law of God down from the mountain. In his Gospel account, Matthew goes to great lengths to portray Jesus as fulfilling what Moses had undertaken. It’s as the new Moses that Jesus provides for the “great crowds” in two ways.

First, Jesus cures “the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others”. Second, knowing the hunger of the crowds, Jesus compassionately works the miracle of multiplying the loaves and fish. Both of these works of Jesus—healing and nourishing—are also portrayed in the great 23rd Psalm, which is our Responsorial today. Of course, to receive nourishment and healing from the Lord, we have to be willing to admit our real hungers and hurts. In your private prayer today, ask the Lord to enlighten you to see clearly where your mind and heart are in need of healing and nourishing.