This pandemic has brought a lot of disruptions in the plans of everyone: rich or poor, young or old. Family events and affairs, travels, careers, businesses, and the like didn’t happen as planned when COVID-19 came into the picture. I have seen families affected by the pain of not being able to pay their last respects to a loved one who passed away, a school graduation not happening in the real venue (my daughter, a doctor of medicine being a part of the Class of 2020 didn’t have a graduation live on stage), OFWs not able to go home to the country; all because of health and safety protocols and restrictions. For now, while there are indications that herd immunity is in the horizon, the threats of new and more potent variants are again bringing in uncertainties in the plans of many. Truly we are in times when people can get worried and anxious.
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6: 1-15), we hear the situation wherein Jesus was asking Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. It seemed an impossible situation such that Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”
There are situations in life that we encounter similar difficult circumstances. We feel these are impossible to solve and even to imagine. Yet God provides whenever necessary, for as long as we act what we are supposed to do.
We knew what happened next, “Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.” In the end, they were even able to collect and fill “twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.”
Theologians tell us that there may not really be only five barley loaves and two fish; but when people saw the boy sharing his meal with them, they started sharing what they have too. You see, it is not only God who should do something, we are expected to likewise act on the situation at hand. I recall hearing our elders say that when we pray and if it’s good for us, God will surely answer our petitions. The problem is that we are focused on one particular thing such that we don’t recognize the miracle that is already going on.
“Sometimes we pray for physical healing, the solution of our problems, to get out of a tight spot, and we don’t realize God is already giving us a lot of healing, a lot of blessings. (Tayo lang yung manhid.) Only we are insensitive because we keep on focusing on one particular gift, blessing or healing. In His wisdom, in His great love, He has given us what we truly need for that moment, which we sometimes don’t realize. God is not a stingy God. God is generous”, Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB said in his homily today.
Indeed, what is important is for us to realize the blessings that God has given us. We have to be sensitive to what’s happening around so that we only ask one particular question: What is God expecting me to do now?
Today, reflect on what’s going on in your life: What are those that bother you? What keeps you anxious? What makes you worry?
Do what God wants you to do, then surrender the rest to Him. At the end of the day, it is not what we want that is important, what is important is we let God’s will prevail.
“The hand of the Lord feeds us; He answers all our needs.” Ps.145:16