FEED THEM YOURSELVES

Monday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time            

            “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”

            The disciples, in today’s gospel narrative, feel that they just do not have enough to do what Jesus is asking them to do: feed the crowd. The disciples, however, are in the process of learning an invaluable lesson. Even though what they have to give is seemingly very little, with Jesus their resources are more than enough.

            Often we feel overwhelmed by the need and demands around us. Needless to say, the problems and crises we are facing now due to this pandemic are immense and enormous. Many are getting hungry and desperate. We do not know how our meager resources can possibly help. But we bring what we can, we share what we can. And the Lord takes what we are willing to give, and blesses it, and uses it… and it is enough. No, it is more than enough!

            I firmly believe that the Lord does the same for us, as individuals and as a community. Jesus is telling us: “Just give me your five loaves and two fish… Trust in me… I can use them to do mighty deeds.” The Lord wants to assure us that what little we give can make a difference – be it our little prayer and action to hasten the coming of God’s kingdom; be it our little witness to God’s mercy, compassion and love; be it our little generosity to practice Christian stewardship; be it our little service to be OLMMP mission partners; be it our little energy to foster a sense of community in our parish. Whatever little we can give, the Lord will make a difference.

            We see how Jesus worked through the hands of his disciples to feed the hungry crowd. It still works that way today. The Lord calls us and uses us to do his work in the world, to literally feed hungry people. But we are also called to be God’s hands in spiritually feeding: the lost and the confused, the lonely and the depressed, the hurting and the broken people who live all around us. We are called to speak words of blessing, words of encouragement and inspiration, words of healing and restoration, words of hope and love to them.

            Today’s gospel story shows that when we care, and when we translate this care into concrete actions, we let Jesus empower us to do what we are called to do: to feed the hungry with the little we have.

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