18th Sunday in Ordinary Time A
In today’s Gospel, we see that the disciples were so concerned about the hungry crowd that they asked Jesus to dismiss them so that they could go and buy for themselves something to eat. But Jesus tells them: You give them something to eat. You take care of that yourselves. The disciples should provide food for the crowd.
Jesus does not solve the problem of hunger by himself. He uses what people already possess: five loaves of bread and two fish! We see this more clearly in the gospel of John where Andrew says to the Lord: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish” (John 6:9).
We can easily identify ourselves with the disciples in the gospel passage. Like the disciples, our care and compassion are often limited to wishes—wishing people well but lacking in taking positive action to improve the situation. We always find some fine excuses to get rid of a brother or sister in need.
We say that it is not our task… it is the task of the government, the church or some other concerned institutions. Again, like the disciples, what prevents us from taking positive action is that we feel that we have so little to give, and any contribution is not really going to make a difference at all.
But the message of the Lord is clear: We must contribute something in order that the miracle may take place. In the gospel he tells us that the LITTLE WE ARE ABLE TO DO IS MULTIPLIED by God’s grace in such a way that it becomes more than sufficient for the need.
ALL THAT JESUS NEEDS FROM US IS OUR GENEROSITY (to share the limited talents, time and resources that we have).
Why Jesus did not just go on and produce bread from air to feed the crowd? Because he wants to teach the disciples and us that as long as everyone acts on his own selfishness, taking only into account his own welfare, we suffer all kinds of hunger – hunger for food, hunger for love, and hunger for peace!
God is able and willing to satisfy all hungers. However, God is waiting for men and women who are able and willing to give up generously their lunch pack – their five loaves and two fish…. He waits for our generosity which God needs to make the miracle possible.
Think of this: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU GAVE HELP TO SOMEONE IN NEED AND ALLOWED GOD’S MIRACLE TO HAPPEN AGAIN?