Is 25:6-10; Ps 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6; Mt 15:29-37
In today’s readings, the terms of salvation are described as a great banquet, a metaphor for salvation. Being accustomed to scarce and simple meals, the people all share in a great feast on the mountainsides. Both readings reflect the symbolism of “mountains” and “meals”. Ascending a mountain literally brought us closer to God who lived above “in the heavens”, was a spiritual rising, was an overcoming of obstacles , was of permanence, of destroying the veil, of an ecumenical experience. “Meals” are about abundance that comes from God, teaching us about God’s power and care for us. The “leftovers” remain for other seekers, supplying grace to those who seek it and for those who seek more.
Isaiah and Matthew foretell of God’s Reign, of God’s liberation of all people, of healing and the breaking of Bread. We need to put our troubles at Christ’s feet.
Saint Francis also used mountains (Subasio, La Verna, Greccio, etc.) and meals/fasting in similar fashion. We, also as disciples, are called to not only receive The Bread of Life, but to also distribute the Bread and gather what remains. On Christmas Day, the normally austere Saint Francis wanted the Brothers to have an abundant Feast, to feed all the birds along the pathways and “even the walls should eat meat!” The Savior is born! We are saved! As Teilhard de Chardin exclaimed, “Because of the Incarnation everything is sacred, nothing is profane!!!!
Br. Joseph Mussa, O.S.F