Wednesday of the First Week

Readings

Is 25:6-10a
Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Mt 15:29-37

Reflection

In today’s gospel reading, we hear of Jesus being approached by a large crowd in need of his help. Jesus’s response to the crowds is to be moved with pity for those who have been traveling for so long and desperately approach him but have nothing to eat. He also invites the disciples to collaborate with him in caring for those in need as he takes care of the immediate needs in healing them but knows he can feed all through an outpouring of generosity. What is revealed to us is an expansion of Jesus’s ministry as he has moved past the his originally mission in serving the Israelites as he has moved into Gentile territory. In this passage, Jesus encounters folks from all walks of life as this would’ve been a mixed group of Gentiles and Jews from various regions. We have a God that loves us so much and not only pity’s our struggles in life, but actively works to invite us to offer what we have in order to provide for the needs of all regardless of where they are from.

In reflecting on this passage, I am reminded of the caravan of migrants form Central America that is now at our border. A group who is seeking asylum and is currently living with a lack of food, shelter, and other basic necessities. With this passage in mind, how should they be received? Like the disciples, many might respond to this group of migrants saying, "where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" but through this passage we see that God can not only satisfy the needs of all but create a surplus through the expansion of generosity.

So, in this advent season in our time of preparing the way for the coming of Christ, the question is begged of how can we collaborate with God to show this radical love that Jesus shows? On a macro level this might look like immigration reform but there are daily habits we can all adopt in the ways we embrace our classmates, roommates, coworkers, and friends by offering up our gifts, talents, and resources so that God might multiply them for the good of all. We are all called to partake in God’s mission of love and kinship even when it might challenge existing social hierarchies and norms.

Alec Hartman
Class of 2016
Master of Divinity Candidate
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry