4 December, Wednesday – Aware of Our Needs

Dec 4 – Memorial for St. John Damascene, priest, doctor of the Church

John was born in Damascus about 675. After holding public office for a time, he withdrew to the monastery of Sabas near Jerusalem. He wrote The Fount of Wisdom, in which he presented a comprehensive teaching on Christian doctrine, which had great influence on later theology. He died about 750.

  • the Weekday Missal
Isaiah 25:6-10
On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain he will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame
everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation;
the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us.
Matthew 15:29-37
Jesus reached the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and he went up into the hills. He sat there, and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.
But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, they might collapse on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this deserted place to feed such a crowd?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said ‘and a few small fish.’ Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and he gave thanks and broke them and handed them to the disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.

I do not want to send them off hungry, they might collapse on the way

The people spent a lot of time with Jesus and Jesus worried that they would collapse from hunger if they were sent home. So he asked the disciples to provide food for those who sought him.

I’m not sure if anyone asked Jesus for food. If I were there, I may have been so embarrassed to ask for food since I followed Jesus out of my own will, even if he did not promise a buffet lunch. I would also think that there are so many others who would probably need more food than me, so I’ll just walk home and try to take care of myself.

But Jesus noticed the needs of all those who attended. Jesus noticed that they were hungry and that they needed food. Isn’t that amazing? Even before they asked, Jesus had already offered it.

I experienced this myself just this year. I had to go through something major in my life and Jesus knew that I would need friends. Out of the blue, one of my friends messaged me and had a good conversation with me. She mentioned that this was after her prayer. A few weeks later, another friend felt that she needed to give me a call about the same issue. She was calling from overseas and she also felt led by the Holy Spirit to talk to me. At that time, I didn’t even know how much I needed them to be around, but Jesus had anticipated what I would need, and provided even before I asked.

When we are emotionally attached to something we feel that those are exactly what we need. Through this experience, I learnt that what I have right now is exactly what I need. Because God provided even before I asked.

It really takes faith to stand firm, especially in the midst of pain, to believe that God has already given us all we needed at this point of our lives. But if there is anything I would hold on to from today’s reading is that even without asking, Jesus already knows our needs, and that he will provide what we need before we are sent off on this journey.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Lord God, help us trust that you have seen everything that has happened and will happen, and that you have already provided for my needs. Help me live the moment you are giving me.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, caring for me and for making sure that I am ok.

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