Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students
December 5th, 2012
Bio | Email: PaulBubash@creighton.edu
After going through today’s readings, I began to reflect a lot about miracles. Today we read the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in Matthew, and to me this is a story of compassion and community, an aspect that often goes unaddressed. Many people will read this story and see the miracle as magical multiplication of food. They see this as a story to show that Jesus was God because miracles can be performed by God. I do think that God is the root cause of all miracles, but I think the true miracle of this story was performed by every individual member of that crowd. I think the true miracle is that a huge group each individually decided they would share what little they had and put their neighbor’s needs before their own.
Before you call me crazy, hear me out. When we look at the other readings (and most Biblical passages for that matter), we find that the defining characteristic of God is that he loves his people and wants to exist in community with them. In today’s psalm, God walks with us in both green pastures and dark valleys. In the first reading, he is the one wiping away the peoples’ tears. God is compassionate, caring, and immediately present. In the gospel, Jesus is all those things, but he’s not the one passing around the bread. Rather it’s each individual member of the crowd passing bread to the person next to him or her. Imagine that – trying to tear off a piece of bread to be the first thing you’ve eaten all day but always making a conscious effort to save enough for the person next to you. This is just like God – selfless, compassionate, and in community with everyone around. The people are the ones who really performed this miracle. Jesus was not the only one selflessly and compassionately shared in the concern of others.
Often I feel this compassionate concern of others is a lot harder making something multiply. I mean heck, it’s hard enough just to learn to share my Cinnamon Toast Crunch with my five other housemates, let alone do so in a completely selfless manner. I think we all struggle to perfectly love another so much so that we are willing to give our every possession to another. I think those brief moments when we can share what little we have are miracles. They are acts of love and they connect to the larger community with God. So I ask, how can we continue to live this miracle today? How can we live in the compassion and community that is characteristic of God?
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