First reading Isaiah 25:6-10

The Lord will prepare a banquet for every nation

On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.
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;
for the hand of the Lord
rests on this mountain.
 

Responsorial Psalm 22(23)

In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
 
The Lord is my shepherd;
  there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
  where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
  to revive my drooping spirit.
 
He guides me along the right path;
  he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
  no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
  with these you give me comfort.
 
You have prepared a banquet for me
  in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
  my cup is overflowing.
 
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
  all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
  for ever and ever.
 

Gospel Matthew 15:29-37

The crowds praised the God of Israel

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.
 
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Come to the feast

 
“On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines…” (First reading). Let us find comfort in this good news that God is a God who is so close to us and wants us to have life and to have it to the full, here, now and forever. He Himself will prepare a feast for us and a place where we find joy and peace.
 
In the gospel, Jesus revealed the heart of God, who never abandoned His people. He fed the people with hope and joy as He made the dumb talk, the crippled walk, and the blind see. He prepared a feast for the hungry, who ate as much as they wanted. Jesus depended on the people to bring their sick to Him and also on the disciples to provide their resources for Him to feed the crowd. Today, Jesus needs us to help Him attend to the people around us. Let us cooperate with Jesus and be channels of His presence to others today.
 
Reflective question:
What can I do today to be an instrument of Jesus’ presence?
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year B” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.