Scripture: 1st Reading: Is25,6-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps23,1-6; Gospel: Mt15,29-37
The Lord of hosts will provide a banquet for His people. It is the banquet that celebrates His divine kingship. The banquet is full of mouthwatering food, a real feast to celebrate Yahweh's goodness and showcase Yahweh's return to save His people.
At the banquet, the veil of tears, sin, death, separation and distance between Yahweh and His people will be removed. Yahweh will take the reproach of His people away. Once again, Yahweh will be in union with them as at the beginning of creation when creatures of His hand had primeval innocence.
The banquet is an imagery of the salvation that Yahweh would bring to His people who had waited eagerly, patiently and relentlessly for Him. It is the joy that Yahweh will fill His entire creation with in place of the sorrows that filled the earth before His saving intervention.
The Saviour gave an imagery, a foretaste of that banquet when He fed the crowd that had been with Him for three days. The interpretive key to the gospel passage today is the compassion of our Lord for the crowd. Our Lord was unwilling to send the crowd "away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
The propelling force here was our Lord's great compassion for this crowd that had been with Him for three days. Our Lord gave them food from seven loaves and the few small fish available. The crowd "ate and were satisfied; and they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over." Our Lord did not just give them food; He gave them in superabundance.
He replaced their sorrows with joy and great gladness. He satisfied the hunger in their bodies as a preparation for the satisfaction of the hunger in their souls. He brought the prophecy of Isaiah in today's First Reading to fulfilment.
With His advent, our Lord wants to satisfy the hunger in our souls. He wants to do something new with our lives. He wants to bring us back, let His face shine on us. He wants to save us. Let us put our hands in His hands. Let us trust Him fully. Let us have faith in Him that He can bring us happiness again. Let us prepare for Him so that He meets us ready when He comes.
Let us pray: "Prepare our hearts, we pray, O Lord our God, by your divine power, so that at the coming of Christ your Son, we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life and merit to receive heavenly nourishment from his hands." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.