Some time in the course of my spiritual life I remember spending some time in lectio divina reflecting on our Gospel reading this weekend. It’s a rather commonly known story, Jesus feeding the multitude – but the part of it that I found to be captivating was how this all came about. More specifically, the young boy in the story who had 5 barley loaves and 2 fish.
He doesn’t really have much to do in the story, but without him, well Jesus wouldn’t have had anything to work with – no food to multiply, no way to feed the crowd of over 5000, no miracle. That boy made it all happen, simply because he was willing to give Jesus what he had.
What about us? We all have gifts and talents, we have things and skills that God has blessed us so abundantly with – things that we are good at. What is it that our Lord needs from us? Are we willing to give it?
Often times when I visit one of our homebound parishioners they apologize to me. It’s a rather curious experience. They say, Father I’m sorry, I can’t do the things I used to do – I can’t work our dinners anymore, I can’t help around the Church, I can’t even really send you any money – I just can’t do anything.’ And so I ask them, can you pray? And they say Father that’s about all I can do. And I say good – pray for us!!! That’s what I need you to do – that’s what Jesus wants you to do.
It’s easy or maybe even convenient for us to think “eh, I can’t do anything, or I can’t do much, what good is my little offering in the grand scheme of things.” We all have 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. All of us. Jesus just asks that we give him what we have, meager and imperfect as it may be, so that He can use it for His purpose, so that He can turn it into an abundant outpouring that can do greater good for the glory of His kingdom, that in our own limited vision we can ever imagine. Through what each of us has, Jesus will feed 5000 with room to spare – but only if we give our gifts to Him.
That little boy in the Gospel has a lot to teach us. Let us listen to him and follow his example. God help us all. +