Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Are the demands of family, friends, and work more than you can bear at times? Do you ever
feel small in the face of the many needs of the world? We all have those moments when we feel that “there just isn’t enough of me to go around.” We can think about these moments as we hear Elijah’s servant and Philip wonder how many people can be fed with such a meager amount of food. Yet both found the bounty of God’s goodness, as those small gifts were multiplied to feed a multitude. It is true that there isn’t enough of each of us to go around. But with God’s grace, together as members of Christ’s body, we are sure to find that there is something each of us can bring so that the love of God may be known.
Put yourself in the place of the boy in today’s Gospel. He had five barley loaves and two fish. Probably just enough for himself and his family, or a friend who made the journey to hear Jesus with him. What must he have thought, as he heard Andrew tell the Lord about the meal he had brought with him? Did he go to Andrew to tell him about the food, and offer it, or did someone notice that he had the food and let the others know? However it came to pass, the boy’s gifts were called forth, and his small meal was given to the Lord. The boy trusted that in Jesus’ hands, his barley loaves and fish would be put to good use. Jesus blessed the loaves and fish and fed thousands with them.
Becomes a lot
In the hands of the Lord, the little the boy’s food became a feast for many. Each of us has been given particular gifts and talents—the minutes, hours, and days that make up our lives, and material and financial resources. We may feel that it is barely enough for us. We might hesitate before we give anything to another, out of fear that we will not have enough, or simply because we do not let the need of the other into our mind and heart. Like the boy in the Gospel, our gifts may seem insignificant; we may feel that the little we have is not enough to truly make a difference in the life of another. Any who have given of themselves in service know that very often the opposite is true, however. We gain so much more than we give! Our gifts are called forth in community. We must trust that in giving for the sake of another, God’s love will be known and shared.
Today’s Readings: 2 Kgs 4:42–44; Ps 145:10–11, 15–16, 17–18; Eph 4:1–6; Jn 6:1–15