Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Calendar, December 4

Isaiah 25: 6- 10a

Matthew 15: 29-37

Reflection by Sister Anita Louise Lowe
Liturgist, Ferdinand, Indiana

Today’s reading from the Book of Prophet Isaiah provides us with rich images portraying the day when God returns to dwell among the people of Israel.  Isaiah tells us that, on that day God will feed the people with “a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines.” God will also “wipe away the tears from all faces,” and will “swallow up death for ever.” On that day, creation will be returned to its origins, to the way life was when the first humans lived in the Garden of Eden. There they were with God, walked with God, and talked with God. There they were given to feast on the bounty of the garden. The vision of Isaiah is that one day humanity will dwell again with God and feast in paradise. 

This prophesy foreshadows the ministry of Jesus shown in today’s Gospel passage. Jesus went up to the mountain where great crowds came to him. There he healed them and wiped away their tears of pain and sorrow. There he fed them with bread and fish. Jesus’ call to his disciples to cure the sick and feed the hungry continues to be our call today as his followers. We are called to be the body of Christ for those around us, for our neighbors, and for our world. During this Advent season may we recognize that we are the presence of Christ for others, and may we answer the call to be Christ, to reach out with hands of healing, to speak words of peace and reconciliation, to feed those who are hungry — physically and spiritually.

In the words of Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.”

Questions for Reflection: 
Who has been Christ for me in the difficult times of my life?
To whom am I being sent to be the presence of Christ today?

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