But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
Today’s Gospel is a reminder that no matter our reservations and fears, no matter how tenuous our faith, no matter how deep our unfulfilled longings, God will sustain us if we place ourselves within His hands. He can take our meager gifts and multiply them beyond our imaginings. Whatever is holding us back from doing His will, whatever fears keep us from Him—He can make up for our shortcomings, if we ask Him. He can take our crumbs and turn them into thousands of loaves.
Whenever we feel as though we don’t have enough strength to follow His will, we need to hand over our fears and inadequacies, entrusting what little strength we have to Him. We can trust that He will give us exactly what we need; He withholds no good thing from us.
Also, we shouldn’t allow our lack of resources to keep us from beginning to do God’s work. Even if we can’t see how the task will be completed, we ought to give what we do have, so that He can begin to fill in the rest. The disciples didn’t think their five loaves were even worth offering to a crowd so large, but it was because they put forth those few loaves that Jesus performed the miracle of multiplying them. Perhaps our actions, when we step out in faith and share our gifts, will put a grander plan of His into motion, inspiring others to contribute their gifts as well. Each of us is just one small part of the body of Christ, but each part of the body is invaluable to the whole.
Image: Albert Anker, Stillleben: Neuer Weisswein und Nüsse / PD-US