Day 4: This amazing promise should free us from all anxiety.
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied. — Matthew 15: 35-37
The story of the feeding of the multitudes seems to anticipate the gift of the sacrament of the Eucharist. It’s perhaps helpful to think of what it must have felt like to be there on that day. Just as those who had climbed a mountain to see Jesus “all ate and were satisfied,” we approach the altar hungry for the food that satisfies like no other, Jesus in the Eucharist.
How often, though, do we fail to prepare ourselves for this miracle? If only we could be more alive to what is happening when we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Amid our daily cares and distractions, we sometimes feel like we are losing an awareness that something truly amazing is about to happen. Jesus promised, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” (John 6:35).
That is an amazing promise, and one that should free us of all of our anxiety and orient us towards a life truly in Christ. This Advent will be a fruitful one if only we do one thing: prepare to receive the Eucharist as if we were awaiting the greatest gift ever.
Prepare our hearts, we pray, O Lord our God,
by your divine power,
so that at the coming of Christ your Son
we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life
and merit to receive heavenly nourishment from his hands.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.