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Miracle Seeds

First Reading: Isaiah 25:-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Gospel: Matthew 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

NAB

dec 2

Did you know that there were 400 years of prophetic silence between the last words of the Old Testament and the moment of Jesus’ birth?

The crowds in the Gospel reading had been waiting on His help for three days, and they were at the point of collapsing.

Can you imagine what it felt like to wait 400 years to hear the voice of God again, to know that He was coming to your rescue?

I am not very good at waiting when I begin to feel faint, shaky in my walk with Jesus, hungry to know His love, or sick from my own sin and in need of healing.

Three days? Four hundred years?

No, Lord, I need you and I need you now.

Yet how often do I at once declare my desperate need for him and express the hesitant doubt of the disciples?

How often do I beg to be fed but then look at Him and say, “But how can it ever be enough to satisfy all my needs?”

See, the disciples looked out at the weary and waiting crowd and thought Jesus was asking them to have enough to meet their needs. When in reality, He was asking them to trust Him—to believe that because He was the Messiah, it was completely in His reach to provide all that the gathered crowd needed using the small offering of His disciples as the seed of a miracle.

Are you carrying the seed of a miracle in your heart pocket, looking at Jesus with tired and desperate eyes and begging Him to rescue you, yet doubtful that He can do anything with the little you have to give him?

Advent is the time that we allow our hearts to enter into the desperation of that 400 years of tired, hungry, broken waiting and beg God to come and save us.

Perhaps Advent can also be the time when we open our hands and offer Jesus the little we have, our miracle seed, and let Him use it to feed and water a weary, waiting world.

Mary carried a miracle seed in her womb with expectant faith. The disciples carried one in baskets of bread and offered it in curious hope.

Perhaps you too can carry yours right to the waiting manger and offer it as a gift of love to the coming King who has already satisfied all your needs.

Do you have a seed you can place near your family nativity scene or where you will see it often this Advent? Place it somewhere as a daily reminder this Advent that your waiting hope is a meager offering that can grow a miracle of redemption.

photo by Edenn Yorks

Colleen Mitchell is wife to Greg and mother to five amazing sons here on earth. They serve in Costa Rica where they run the St. Francis Emmaus Center, a ministry that welcomes indigenous mothers into their home to provide them access to medical care, support and education in the weeks before and after the birth of a child. Find out more about her here.

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