Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Matthew (15: 29-37), in which great crowds came to hear and be healed by Jesus, who feeds them using only seven loaves and a few small fish.
Fr Paul says, like Mark, Matthew has two stories of the wonderful feeding of large crowds. One is the feeding of the five thousand and the other is this one, the feeding of the four thousand. It has been disputed that there were not two events but rather the same one. The awaited Messiah is the messenger and representative of the Lord and by Jesus feeding so many people with plenty, then we are seeing Jesus as the Messiah, who comes to wipe away all tears, discomfort, sorrow and sadness. All the works that Jesus does are symbols of the coming of the kingdom.
We hear that Jesus took the loaves and fish, gave thanks, broke them, and handed them to the disciples. This is very much a eucharistic action and reminds us of the Eucharist, which Christ gave us at the Last Supper.
So, Fr Paul says, as we continue our Advent journey, we are mindful of these signs that Jesus is giving that he is the one who is to come.
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