Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
Today in the gospel we have the very familiar story of the five loaves and two fishs’ miracle. You may say, ‘Oh I know all about it.’ Just like the old saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt”. I am very sure we all know about that miracle for we have heard it several times. Even before we get into the miracle, we have a lot to meditate on. We see four different types of people in the gospel today. The first is a large multitude of people who are starving; away from home and are like sheep without a shepherd. The second is Jesus. He sees that there is a problem and looks to solve it. The third are the Apostles. They are asked to see the problem but they are not ready to solve it and they are very skeptical about the solution. The fourth is a little boy with five loaves of bread and two fishes. He is very generous and very willing to offer what he has for others. I always think about the little boy then I think about his mother whom we don’t find in the gospel. The reason why I think about his mother is that the boy had more bread than he could possibly eat. She packed it for him to share with someone who would have nothing to eat. Why do I say this? It’s because that is what my mother would do. We have to learn to be generous. We were not rich, maybe middle class, little below middle class farmers. We had to work very hard to find our livelihood. As a young person, I remember taking money and food to poor people almost every month. For my mother made sure she helped other people and she made sure her children did it too. Now I am very proud of my mother for creating a generous heart in me and my siblings. So I ask you all to teach your children to be generous. Teach them to see the pain and struggle of people, teach them always be a helping hand to others. Today, let us meditate on the little boy in the gospel. To the little boy, the key was his willingness to surrender his meager gifts to Christ, and at the heart of the story is the implied invitation for all of us to surrender our little gifts, the gift of our little lives to Christ, and then see what mighty miracles God can do in and through us. That’s what God wants from you and me, to surrender, to give the gifts of our little lives to Him. Jesus can work miracles with five loaves and two fish. In the story, the little boy brought his meager gifts to Jesus, his five loaves and two fish, and the Lord worked a mighty miracle with them. And God wants to do the same with us; that we bring our meager gifts to God, our five loaves and two fish, our meager and ordinary talents and gifts, we bring the simplicity of who we are to God, and see what mighty miracles God can do with our little lives.
God can use our inadequacies and work mighty miracles through them. Today the gospel invites us to look into our heart and to ask ourselves this question: How much of our lives and our resources are we currently placing in the hands of Jesus to do with as he wishes? To what extent are we giving of ourselves and our resources as Mother Teresa did, as the man in today’s first reading did, as the boy in today’s gospel did? In today’s gospel Jesus is saying to us: “I need your talent. I need your generosity. I need you. I need your feet. I need your hands. I need your tongue. For today I have only your feet to carry me into the factories, and the offices of your cities. I have only your hands to reach out to the helpless, the homeless, and the hopeless. I have only your tongue to tell my brothers and sisters why I came to live on earth, and why I suffered and died for them.” In brief, the message of today’s gospel is this: Jesus invites us to cooperate with him in working miracles not unlike those he worked in biblical times. Whatever we give him – our time, our talent, our prayers, our sacrifices, our resources – he will use in a way that will exceed our greatest expectations. He will multiply them beyond anything we dreamed of, just as he did the boy’s loaves and fish in today’s gospel reading. This is the invitation Jesus makes to us in today’s readings.
What do you hold dear in your hands? If one of these days the Lord would ask, “My child, what is it in your hands?” will you be willing to let Him have what you may be holding dear? Whatever seemingly little thing you willingly surrender to the Lord, He uses it for greater blessing that will bless you more as well as many other people.
God Bless You,