Peace be with you all,
This 18th week in Ordinary Time brings us the awesome message from our Lord about our responsibility to participate in feeding the thousands who represent so many needs. As the crowds following our Lord grow, the disciples want to dismiss them so they can go home in order to be nourished - to eat. Our Lord instructs them not to disperse the people but take care of them yourselves. This is really the mission of the Church. This is really the call for us all to participate in the evangelization of our world… to care for the needs of those around us. The next part of the Gospel is the best. The disciples point out to our Lord that they do not possess the resources to do what He asks of them. They famously say “Five loaves and two fish are all we have….” In other words, they point out that they are not prepared or capable or able to help out - sorry, but I cannot do that. This is a common response from folks to a simple invitation to help out with something in the parish or to volunteer for something needed. We all have done it, and are in good company with the disciples.
Again, this is the Church. Of course, the disciples take their measly five loaves and two fish and end up feeding this enormous crowd. It is the same with us. The Lord takes the little we have to offer and uses it to accomplish spectacular things that we could not imagine. This is the mission of Christ in His Kingdom. This “Five loaves and two fish” really are a summation of what we should expect as Church… expect the unexpected.
The saints are great examples of this expectation. Do you have a favorite saint? I invite you take a close look at the saints in order to see how insignificant they were, or how small they felt in light of God’s work. I think all the saints exemplify how God uses the little we have, or believe we have, in order to accomplish great works.
Imagine if we were all a little more open to God’s grace at work in our lives. Imagine if we become more open to offering our own little “Five loaves and two fish.” The Lord came to feed and nourish everyone - to meet every need of every person. He expects us to continue His mission. This is simple evangelization. This is why we are here and why our parish mission is really a mission to evangelize. Five loaves and two fish are all we have!