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EVERYTHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Father Francis's picture
First Week of Advent

Is. 25:6-10 & Mt. 15:29-37

In this first week of Advent the world is looking forward eagerly to Christmas. You only have to walk around a shopping centre to sense the hustle, bustle and excitement. The readings of today’s Mass have caught the mood of looking to the future with joyful anticipation.

Isaiah was a prophet whose eyes were always fixed on the good times to come. He foresaw the coming of the Messiah who would fulfil people’s deepest needs. God Himself will come and live on earth to take away mourning and sadness. There will be no more disappointment, no more death. Isaiah is so excited by this vision that he describes it in terms of the most wonderful banquet imaginable, where the finest food and wine will be served in abundance.

In the gospel, Jesus provides a meal for a huge crowd of hungry people. They had been listening to Him for three days, and they needed to be fed. Imagine how happy Jesus made them, by having their hunger satisfied. But in sharing out the loaves and fishes Jesus, too, was looking to the future. Now He gives food for their bodies but the time will come when He will give food for their souls. Not just ordinary loaves but the very Bread of Heaven.

We don’t have to wait anxiously for that time to come. We have Jesus with us today, feeding us with His Body and Blood in the Eucharist. We all like to be invited to a good meal where the food is delicious, but even the most delightful meal only satisfies us for a short time. The food which Jesus offers us can give us eternal satisfaction. He has told us that whoever eats of this food worthily will never die. When we receive Jesus in Communion He is giving us the strength we need for this day and He is also preparing us for the life to come. This should make us look forward joyfully and hopefully, not just to Christmas Day, but to the exquisite feast which awaits us in Heaven.

Lord Jesus, when You gave us the Eucharist you said, “I have longed to have this meal with you.” May we have that same longing to receive You every time we come to Holy Communion.

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