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  • Father David M. Knight

Father David's Reflection for the First Wednesday of Advent

The Responsorial Psalm tells us where to look for fulfillment: “I shall live in the house of the Lord all my life

(Psalm 23).

We grow to fulfillment by being with Jesus. And this is only possible because he came to be with us: “The Word became flesh and lived among us [literally, “pitched his tent among us”], and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Isaiah 25: 6-10 tells us: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food…. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.”

In Matthew 15: 29-37 Jesus does what was promised: He “went up the mountain…. Great crowds came to him… the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others…. and he cured them… Then Jesus said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd…. I do not want to send them away hungry….’ ”

So the disciples canvassed the crowd and came up with seven loaves of bread “and a few small fish,” which Jesus “took… and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” And all were filled.”

Any Christian would recognize this formula as the words of consecration repeated in every Mass: Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying….” The bread Jesus gives is his own flesh and blood, the living bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Jesus’ promise is: “Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. The bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world” (see John 6:33-51).

Where Jesus is, the table is set. If we eat the Bread of life we will be filled. The Church is the “mountain on which the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food.” Jesus is the feast. He is our fulfillment and our joy. With him “we shall live in the house of the Lord all our life” both now and forever.

Initiative: If you seek fulfillment, seek it where it can be found. Receive Jesus. Every time you receive Communion (try for daily!), be aware of the mystery of the “Word made flesh” extended and given to us in the mystery of the “flesh under the appearances of bread.” Be conscious that in Communion your body is the “house of the Lord,” holding all you need for total fulfillment, eternal joy. With Jesus you “shall live in the house of the Lord all your life.” This is total fulfillment.

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