Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Jesus is no cheap parlor magician. A cheap parlor magician shows off his tricks so that everyone knows how good he is. Jesus’ miracles do reassure us that He is who He says, but they also serve a far more basic purpose. Before the multiplication of the loaves in today’s gospel, Jesus says “I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” Behind Jesus’ miraculous demonstration of His power is a simple concern for our well-being. God does not treat us as pawns to be amazed, but persons to be loved.
How do we respond to that love in our own lives? Often enough, we see the stories of miracles and think “yes, here is someone with power” or “here is a God who can do something for me.” But that is loving God as a tool–a screwdriver that can tighten a screw–rather than a person. We have all had experiences of times when someone was nice to us because we could do something for them, and we all know how demeaning that can feel. We want to be loved for who we are, not just what we can do for someone. God shows us that selfless love, including through miracles, on a regular basis. The only response is the same kind of love Jesus shows us today.