In today’s readings (Dec. 5th, Wednesday of the First Week of Advent, Year 1), we hear of the Lord providing for his people. He provides the nourishment we need.
In the gospel today we again find Jesus going up on the mountain, a sign of moving closer to God. The people gather around him, including “the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others.” He cured them. After that, Jesus recognizes how all those people, numbered “four thousand men, not counting women and children” in Matthew 15:38, needed food. Jesus knows what our physical bodies need.
So, he fed the whole crowd. The first reading from Isaiah speaks of the Lord providing “rich food and choice wines” but it was not steak and lobster he provided. It was not a fancy meal he provided. It was simple bread. Why bread? Just as we use water in Baptism as a basic necessity of life, so too is bread seen as a basic staple of life. Jesus provides what we need.
Jesus knows what our physical bodies need. He also knows what our souls need. Both require nourishment. Jesus provides us with greatest meal to nourish us. It truly is “rich food and choice wines” but it is not steak and lobster. The food is nothing fancier and it’s probably not your favorite physical food. The wine is not an expensive body of fine wine. For this meal, Jesus starts with unleavened bread that looks not much different than a cracker and a simple bottle of wine, adds grace in the transubstantiation, as well as the sacrifice of Jesus to feed us with the greatest food there is, The Body and Blood of Christ.