Tuesday, December 03, 2019

“The Feast: Future, Past, and Present” by Colleen O’Sullivan

“The Feast:  Future, Past, and Present” by Colleen O’Sullivan

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.  (Isaiah 25:6)

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.  (Matthew 15:29-30)

The hungry heart he satisfies
Offers the poor his paradise
Now hear all heaven and earth applaud
The amazing goodness of the Lord
    from The Feast, Graham Kendrick
As I pondered the Scripture readings for today, many images flashed through my mind.  The kids all around our country who’ve been separated from their parents at our border with Mexico, hungry for reunification with their moms and dads.  Children whose only food comes in the shape of the meals they receive at school.    Families with empty cupboards, mocked by our culture of abundance, hungry for the ingredients for a meal.  Those who suffer from addiction and live for their next high.  The lonely, hungry for human companionship.  The millions of refugees around the world hungry for a place to lay their heads down and call home.  The affluent, full of what the world has to offer, but otherwise empty.

In the face of such need, in our reading from Isaiah, God promises a heavenly banquet like nothing we’ve ever experienced.  Think of the most sumptuous food and drink, and that is what God is offering.  Beyond that, the Lord says there will be no more dying.  God will wipe away all our tears.  Think in terms of abundance, and that’s what this passage is about, the abundance of God’s love for us. We look forward to this abundance.

Hunger and thirst also take on other forms – the longing to be made whole physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus heals the ills of those in the crowd.  Jesus doesn’t wait for the future; he does what he can at the moment.  He takes compassion on the crowd, knowing that they must be hungry.  He takes what is available and makes it enough to feed every single person there. 

There is no hunger of the stomach or the human heart that Jesus didn’t seek to heal while here among us.  Our Scripture readings today promise us a future in God’s Kingdom, where there will be no more tears, no more needs, no more dying.

The future and the past are addressed in our Scripture readings today.  That brings us to this present moment when Jesus asks us to be his eyes, his ears, his hands and feet in the world today.  The Lord asks us to be compassionate and merciful to our brothers and sisters.  Take a few minutes today to make an Advent contribution to an organization of your choice, which seeks to alleviate hunger.  Some suggestions:

SOME (So Others Might Eat) -  https://www.some.org/

Food for the Poor - https://www.foodforthepoor.org/

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