17th Sunday in Ordinary Time          

            There was a little girl named Hattie May Wiatt from a poor family who loved attending Sunday school in Philadelphia, USA. There were so many children who usually went to their church, and since it was so small it could not accommodate that much. So, there were times when this girl could not get in.

            The girl died at a very young age. It was discovered that she had been saving money to help build a larger church. At the time of her death, she had saved only 57 cents.

            The pastor told his congregation about this girl, her 57 cents, and her dream of a bigger church to accommodate all those interested in Sunday school. The church members were inspired to do a series of fund-raising campaigns for that dream. To make the long story short, the 57 cents of the girl became the spark to build a bigger church. The 57 cents became, as it were, the “seed-money” that resulted in the building of The Baptist Temple, and consequently, of The Good Samaritan Hospital and The Temple University. All are considered historical landmarks in the US.

            This is a beautiful story about the value of small people and small things. God has an MO – modus operandi – which is to start small. From cosmic dust to the Big Bang – the creation of the universe. From a single-cell organism to creatures. Jesus followed the same MO. He had a fascination with all things small and humble: mustard seeds, sparrows, grains of wheat, pennies, sprouting seeds, little children. And in today’s gospel story, the five barley loaves and two fish of a little boy.

            Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and then gave thanks. What is the meaning and significance of this? Jesus received the small gifts from the small people and acknowledged them as gifts from his heavenly Father. In thanking and blessing the Father, Jesus turned the small gifts of the small boy into something sufficient and even magnificent . And when Jesus asked his disciples to distribute them, the people had “as much as they wanted.”

            We have a very important lesson to learn from this: What comes from God must be enough for all the people. In giving away the small gifts from the small people, God’s generosity is revealed. There is enough – more than enough, in fact – for everyone.

            The Lord Jesus is somehow telling each of us: “Just give me your five loaves and two fish… Trust in me… I can use them to do mighty deeds.” You give whatever you have, even if it is very small or little or seemingly insignificant –       you give it to Christ, it will be multiplied. Be it your small material possessions and resources, or your small love offerings and financial assistance. Be it your little knowledge, wisdom, and experience, or your little kindness, concern, and generosity. Be it your seemingly insignificant gifts, talents, abilities, or skills. Whatever small or little or seemingly insignificant you can give to the Lord, he can and he will make a difference with it. Again, we just have to trust.

            We let the Lord do mighty deeds for us and through us when we give him whatever we have. So, let us give him our mind, heart, our soul. Let us give him our care, compassion, and love. Let us give him our time, talents, and resources. Let us give him whatever we have, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant, the Lord will use it for his purpose.

            Malinaw ang mensahe at hamon ng ebanghelyo sa atin…Magtiwala tayo sa kakayahan ng Diyos, sapagkat walang imposible sa kanya. Ang kakaunti at maliit na inaalay natin sa Panginoon, sa kamay niya, nagiging marami at nagiging sapat. The question to ask the Lord is not: “Where shall we find this or that?” Instead, the question to ask Jesus is: “Lord, what is it I have that you want to multiply?

            Today’s gospel story has this powerful message: The little and the few that we are able to give and place in the hands of the Lord, becomes great and more than enough. The little we are able to give and do can be multiplied by God’s grace in such a way that it becomes more than sufficient for the need.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s