First Week of Advent
Gospel: Mt 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.
RIGHT BASED APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT: The Lord will wipe away our tears. Jesus fulfills this by healing and feeding. The problems of people have to be done with human rights-based approach. This approach has the qualities of Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination and equality, Empowerment, Linkage to human Right (PANEL). Analysing the feeding program, Jesus feeds the hungry in Participation with the disciples. After, Jesus shows Accountability by asking the disciples to take stock of the event. Non-discrimination is vividly seen- all are made to sit, equally. The people and the disciples are Empowered to address such future situation. This is not a charity but it is Linked to basic Human Right. What is done by Jesus is not only a miracle, but also a mystic action. We need to follow Jesus’ model in working for the development of the world.
PRAYER: Lord, move me with compassion to defend the Rights of people.
A ROADMAP FOR RAPPORT WITH GOD: Jesus is on a healing spree. It is not people in ones or twos, but crowds seeking healing. God’s mercy and abundance overflows the banks. By no human measure can one estimate this. A God, who dries up the tears and offers a grand feast of choicest items, displays his might and kindness to His people, on His Mountain. God sets his eyes on saving the people. All his energy and time seems set on providing for the people. When he gives, he suffocates them with plenty. A great surgeon aged 70 was at his retirement day. With a great circle of friends around, with all the color and music, ready for the party he disappeared unnoticed. His close friend, a judge found him in the garden alone and lost in thoughts. The doctor said: fifty years ago, I would have killed my nagging wife ignoring your advice: and today I would have been a free man. You hurt me, harmed me greatly. Now why shouldn’t I kill you. Because they cannot thrust me with a fifty years judgment, I may last another five to seven years. God’s own people carry on with a life of scheming, conspiring approaches to accomplish their selfish ends. They spend days and nights even a lifetime, all on their plans and projects. God doesn’t matter to them. In vain does the watchman keep awake and in vain is the workmen’s attempt to build the house: does not touch him. Let’s try doing what pleases God.
MIRACLES OF GOD: A miracle is a gift from God or something that only God can do; it is when perhaps God answers our prayers. Jesus performs miracles as a tangible way to say, “I am the Son of God, not only, but I AM God and you want to pay attention on this one.” Why is it that I am so blind sometimes? We can miss the whole point. The Pharisees were in their ways. Hence, they could not recognize or digest the ways of Jesus. How do we miss the miracles in our lives sometimes? Why is it that we cannot see clearly that God is involved in our affairs? Are we like the Pharisees who wanted what they wanted so badly that they rejected God himself? How was it that the Pharisees were stuck to the point that they could not recognize God’s spirit? What are we stuck on?