Our Gospel today calls to mind the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, but it gives us cause to stop and reflect, especially during this Advent season – are we being fed? Are we feeding others? Both of these are important to our lives as Christian Disciples as we are called to do both. As a priest, I must ask myself this question often because I am well aware when my spiritual “batteries” are running low, and I am not as open to being fed; it’s hard for me to feed others – and it really is incumbent upon me to be doing that: it’s what I was ordained for: but more than that – it’s part of my Christian vocation first! This is because we are both Disciples and Instruments of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Advent is meant to shake-up or stir up something in us; not only in preparation for the coming of the Lord, but to enliven in us something special and profound once again. I am very happy to see many young people putting into place a spiritual practice during Advent, similar to the sacrifice or offering they might give during the Lenten season. This is great because it will jump start our faith and prayer life and we will be amazed by grace once again. In fact, I was so inspired by the sacrifices and offerings of some of my younger brothers and sisters in Christ that I too have made the commitment to do something that will give me the freedom and hopefully the desire to be nourished and fed once again.
I know that I need to make the time for more spiritual reading, more prayer, more time alone with God and so my plan is to consciously give something up that I know will allow me more time. It’s funny that only three days into Advent and I find myself inclined to watch Netflix (I don’t do a lot of it, but enough to somewhat affect my prayer life) and so there’s a bit of an interior struggle – sign that it was more of an attachment and habit than I thought it was. I have spiritual books that I have been meaning to get to for a LONG time, and now three days in, I am finding the nourishment is giving me peace and I feel renewed in many ways.
Let’s consider the ways we are feeding others and ask ourselves, are we being fed? God wants us to be and we owe it to ourselves to give our time to being fed.