July 23, 2012
Andrew and Philip meet a youngster with a few barley loaves and a couple of fish. Earlier Jesus has asked the two apostles concerning feeding the large crowd that had come to hear Jesus speak. They reply to Jesus that the food that the youngster had would not nearly satisfy the appetites of so large a crowd. But they do pass on to Jesus the meagre supply of food that the young boy had. Jesus blesses the food, and has the apostles distribute it among the crowd. It turns out to be more than enough to satisfy the huge crowd, and twelve basketful of leftovers are gathered after the crowd ate.
What can we learn from this Gospel story? Quite a bit! If we turn over to Jesus our meagre gifts, Jesus is able to increase them so that they are sufficient to meet the current need. We need to surrender our gifts to Jesus; we need to allow Jesus to bless our gifts; only then will they meet the needs of those around us. It is the blessing of Jesus that increases our gifts and stretches them out. If we hang on to them and distribute them ourselves, they remain a minor blimp that fails to satisfy the need - our expectations, and the needs of others. Thankfully , God is capable of expanding our gifts to meet our expectations and the needs of others.