Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9,11b-17.
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.” They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of (about) fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.
Given, Blessed and Broken and Shared
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today!
Jesus concludes his sermon about the kingdom of heaven, that is, the reign of love by asking his apostles to give the crowd something to eat. They knew they did not have enough to feed the people since they only had five loaves and two fish. This action however becomes a paradigm for all ministry because it reveals how the kingdom can spread and grow to feed thousands despite very humble beginnings.
I remember the feeling of not having enough When I was preparing for ordination in 1998. I went through a very dark time. I felt empty and my prayer was dry. I felt completely inadequate and unworthy to minister. I felt I lacked so many things necessary to be a good priest. I took a retreat to the holy land and I got to visit Tabgha where this miracle occurred. I remember reading John’s version in which he mentions a small boy who gives the loaves and fish to Andrew who in turn gives them to Jesus. When I read the account, I Immediately identified with the small boy, who having very little and being very little gave everything he had. I realized then and there I was being invited to do the same. I need only share the little I had with Jesus, who in blessing and breaking it would feed everyone with lots to spare! The miracle is that Jesus shows his strength in and through our emptiness, weakness, frailty and limitations. Knowing He would provide endless nourishment gave me the hope and courage to continue.
Blessed, Broken and Shared
Benedict 16th Reminds us that the only thing that can satisfy our real hunger, what alone can nourish is, is Christ Himself who truly becomes food for us-as love.
Jesus however not only offers us his own body and blood as superabundant food, but invites our participation and collaboration. It is not enough to receive the Eucharist, we are called to be the Eucharist.
We are invited to give what we have received, to be blessed and broken in order to give ourselves as a gift to others. In this way we truly become his body and blood and collaborate with grace to share His superabundant life with others in order to satisfy their deepest hunger -which is love.
May god bless you today in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit