The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent is Matthew 15:29-37.

Christ withdraws along the Sea of Galilee to a mountain and is followed by a large crowd. Though He desires to be with the Father in solitude, Christ has a deep visceral reaction to the multitude of desperate Jews and Gentiles who seek Him. For three days, Christ tirelessly responds by miraculously curing all: the mute, the maimed, the lame and the blind.The multitude glorifies the God of Israel.

Christ, perfectly compassionate, knows the crowd is famished and weak after being in the wilderness for three days with no food; perhaps He is recalling His own fast in the desert for 40 days. The crowd are richly rewarded for their determination to be near Christ. Christ’s history-changing action by Feeding of the 4000 (Men) understates the miracle; when women and children are included, the count of those fed is much higher.

While the miracle of feeding thousands of people astounds, Christ’s action is much greater than simple feeding. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Christ previews the liturgy of the Eucharist in the breaking of the bread, just as He will do at the Last Supper. He draws the 12 Apostles to Himself and allows them to mediate His Grace to mankind as they distribute the bread to the multitude; as priests after Christ’s Resurrection, the Apostles and their successors will feed billions of people with the Bread of Life in the Eucharist at every Mass. Christ seers the miracle into the minds of the 12 Apostles when they collect up the remains to find there was more bread than they had at the beginning; the 7 loaves had miraculously multiplied to feed the multitude and had now grown to fill 7 baskets.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Mercy, Christ heals the sick and relieves the hunger of the multitude.  Divine King and the Greatest Leader, Christ forms His apostles through participation in the miracle.  Son of Man, Christ feels emotions deeply, particularly compassion for the suffering. Divine Priest, Christ’s replays the feeding of Israel with manna, previews the Eucharist and initiates the Apostles into priesthood.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Thousands of people endure great hardship to see Christ; be awed by the Son of Man’s compelling presence.

2) The men who follow Christ into the wilderness leave their responsibilities and even go without food just to get a glimpse of Christ. Reflect upon the Desire to see God (CCC 2548-2550) and during Advent pray for Christ to convert your heart so that He is your highest desire.

3) Unlike Christ and the multitude who persevere in the tough conditions of the wilderness for three days, many in the prosperous modern society have lost the “hunger” to endure hardship and persevere. During Advent,  renew your commitment to the manly discipline of Friday Fasts (CCC 538,1434, 2043) to build spiritual “muscle” and as a humble sacrifice to as you prepare for the Advent of Our Almighty King.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful