Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if yesterday we heard about the actions of Christ our Lord, who came into this world to save it, then today we are reflecting on the very love of God which He had made manifest through Jesus, our Lord, through whose action as we heard in the Gospel today, we see for real the concrete and genuine love which God has for His people.
In the Gospel today we heard about the famous and well-known feeding by Jesus of the multitude of five thousand men, not counting together the women and children. Jesus performed the great miracle of multiplying five loaves of bread and two fishes, that all of the numerous throngs of people had enough to eat and even with much extra leftovers filling up twelve full baskets.
This was the proof of God’s love for us mankind, not just by mere words and empty promises, but through real action, which He Himself committed in this world through His Word Incarnate into Man, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus saw the multitudes of people who followed Him, and He had pity on them, for He loved them and those people to Him were like sheep without a shepherd, lost in the darkness of the world.
And thus, Jesus showed them His love and cared for them, providing them not just with physical food and nourishment, but also with food and nourishment for their spirits. The feeding done by Jesus through His miracle, where He fed more than five thousand people is a proof of God’s love in feeding and caring for His people, just as He had done before. Remember the feeding of the Israelites with manna, the bread from heaven? They were fed for forty years, the entirety of their journey, and the Lord also made large birds available for them to catch as their food.
But we have to remember also, what Christ had said when He was tempted the first time by Satan. He was very hungry and Satan tempted Him by asking Him to turn the stones into bread for Him to eat. But Jesus rebuked Satan, saying that men does not survive on bread alone, but on every words that came out of the mouth of God. And that was exactly what Jesus also did to the people. He fed them the spiritual food of His words and teachings.
When the people were hungry and their stomachs were empty, He fed them with much food, so much that there was excess, and as they were like sheep lost without their shepherds, Jesus became their Shepherd, leading them from harm’s way that is the darkness, and lead them into the Light. He taught them the meaning of the Law and how to live according to the will of God, following His way of leading a good and devoted life.
In that, He cared for His flock, the sheep that He had gathered back from the world, and those whom He had called to follow Him. He provided them with what they need, with the food for the flesh, and the food for their spirits. But He did not stop at that, for the gift of God’s love went all the way, providing us all with a new life, by none other than the ultimate act of love which Christ performed for our sake.
For Christ has taken the burdens of our sins upon Himself, and loaded them upon His shoulders. The cross He bore on the way of suffering to Calvary is the proof of His ultimate and undying love for all of us. He bore all the sufferings and pains of the sins we have, so that as He suffered from them and died because of them, we may ourselves be freed from the consequences of those sins, as long as we believe in Christ.
And He also gave us His love by the shedding and the sharing of His own Body and Blood, that just like the sons and daughters of Israel who ate of the young slaughtered lamb and had its blood on their doorposts and were saved from death, passed over by the angels, thus, we too, who partake in His Body and Blood, which we receive with fullness of faith in the Eucharist, may be brought into life eternal with Him, for He lives in us, and we live too in Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we progress through this holy season of Christmas, we should continue to reflect on the great love which God has for us all, and no greater love indeed than for someone to give up his life for another, especially for Christ who had given up His life for us all while we are still sinners and filled with the defilements of sin.
Let us all be grateful for that great love, which God showed us, so that by understanding and recognising His great love, we may also practice the same love in our own lives. May all of us be more and more loving and be more gracious as days pass by, and may our Lord and Almighty be with us all, so that we may be better able to resist the temptations of life. May we all be more loving and more forgiving in our actions, embracing one another as fellow brethren in the Lord. God bless us all. Amen.
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