December 4, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

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.

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino Volante):

     The Gospel for today made me reflect on the word “generosity” and “small”. The past month has been a very depressing time for the whole country and the whole world. Typhoon Yolanda destroyed houses, properties and even lives and families. It is very difficult for me to read the newspaper during that time because I can feel the situation even if I am far away. I could not even open my facebook account because of the depressing stories about the people living there, and how difficult it is for the government to extend help. I want to help the victims very badly, but I don’t know how. I am a simple man with nothing to offer or to give to the victims. But I realized that a small gift as long as it is given from the heart would go a very long way.

     In today’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching us that even with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish, we can already extend our help to everyone, even to a great number of crowd. What I can do is to start from something. I may not have the riches of the world to serve all the people affected by Yolanda, but God gave me the hands and feet to help in repacking goods for them. I may not have the power to lead or influence the nation in extending support to the victims, but God gave me the voice to say a prayer for them, to ask God for assistance and strength for the people affected by the calamity. I may be a simple person, but God gave me this day to say that I can make a difference in helping those in need.

     A small help, a little concern, and a short prayer can make a difference to a world in need. Just like the 7 loaves of bread and few fish, these small things, once given out of love, concern and generosity will go a long way. I may be simple, but my God to whom I offer my prayer is the greatest, and can make impossible things happen.

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