Mt 15:29-37 Advent and Spring
We are in a spiritual Spring. Advent is Spring time. It is the Lord's preferred time for small miracles to happen.
The crowd following Jesus was hungry: spiritually and physically. Both are essential. We just don’t want a God that is above us, we want a God that is with us. Even better, we want a God that is inside of us. The Lord provides for all our needs: above us, near to us, and within us.
The crowd was tired: spiritually and physically. Both are damaging. The mind eventually affects the body. My thoughts will eventually be translated into sleepless nights, aches and pains, sadness and tears. Both will collapse if unattended and uncared for. The Lord was and is not immune to such pain, “My heart is moved with pity.”
The crowd was vulnerable. Will Jesus tell us to leave? After all, we have spent the entire day with him. In fact, they had spent 3 days with him. The Apostles retorted, where in the world could we find enough bread to satisfy such a crowd? Nowhere in the world is the answer. Some problems cannot be solved on earth. Some problems require the Divine. We know all too well what it means to search for solutions in all the wrong places. The crowd was enormous because they had all come to realize what conversion requires: an admission. Yes, I no longer believe, I KNOW: SIN MAKES YOU MISERABLE! This is an absolute truth. There is no a single sin that ever man – me – better!
Pope Benedict reminds us, “If there is such a thing as a loneliness which could no longer be penetrated and transformed by the word of another…then we should have real, total loneliness and frightfulness, what theology calls ‘hell’”. We know all too well what these words mean. We have all ventured towards hell, some closer to the gates than others. The crowd was not going to leave. Where are we to go? Only you Lord have the words of everlasting life.
It is at this moment that the miracle occurs.
“On this mountain the Lord will destroy the veil that veils all peoples…he will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces…Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!” (Is 25:6-10a)
Advent is a time of anticipation. Anticipation requires discipline. Only the fool believes that he/she can live a holy life without discipline. What can we learn from the crowd? Some, I am sure took to the streets and vanished; others, began to complain. But most remained and waited. They are the ones who “will live in the house of the Lord all the days of their life” (Ps 23:6) because they never took flight, never ventured far, never doubted for a moment the moment of grace. Discipline requires walking in the valley of death and having no fear; taking courage in times of trial, and waiting for spring to occur when the Lord arrives at an unexpected hour and finds us vigilant and prepared to walk the talk.