Advent reflection: taken, blessed, broken and given
Mission: We are to be taken, blessed, broken and given
The miracle of the feeding of the four thousand is a miracle of generosity. It is a miracle that also recalls the miracle of the great prophet Elisha (in 2 Kings 4:42-44) when he multiplied 20 barley loaves to feed 100 men, with some left over.
The miracle also prefigures the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. In the account, our Lord takes, gives thanks, breaks and then gives them food (Mt 15v36). This pattern is the pattern of the holy Mass. Through His disciples the multitude, over whom Jesus expresses much compassion, are fed. So He also feeds us with compassion through His disciples today. But he not only feeds us, He also calls us to go out. The Lord has taken us, we give thanks for the Eucharist and are given new life through it, and we then go out into the world.
Going out into the world we come into conflict just as Jesus did. Christ was broken on the cross for our salvation. So we also suffer because we witness to Christ in our lives. Through faith and hope, our suffering is united to His suffering, and because His suffering is redemptive, so our suffering participates in His redemption. By our witness and suffering in the world, others can be given the new life they so desperately need. The pattern of the Eucharist is also the pattern for effective mission.
The superabundant generosity of God is nowhere more manifested than in the Holy Eucharist. For the Eucharist is the superabundance of the Father’s gift of His Son to the world for our salvation.