Multiplying What Little We Have

There are times in our life that the circumstances we are facing are so daunting that we feel giving up and hopeless. We throw our hands and say, ‘Ayoko na, wala na ako magawa diyan’. However, this is a response of a non-believer, and the Church isn’t the place for the so-called ‘faithful’ who respond ordinarily. As a devoted follower of Jesus, we always speak about what is impossible given the situation, but pray and trust for the extraordinary to happen. Even in our missionary work, if we only think about our own strengths, we will not have enough to succeed. We need to leave space for God to work His power and might. Remember, the things that we do for the Church isn’t our work, it’s His’ and we are just His hands.

In the Gospel (Jn. 6: 1-15), when the Jewish feast of Passover was near, Jesus asked 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. Philip answered Him, ‘Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.’ One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?’

From these five barley loaves and two fish, everyone had their fill, and Jesus instructed His disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.’
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. This clearly was a sign of Jesus’ Authority and Divinity. The Lord interprets the meaning and significance of this miracle as a sharing of His Body and Blood. John uses this Gospel story of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to teach about the Holy Eucharist. This miracle, just like the Last Supper, is not by mere coincidence that both are occurring near the time of the Jewish feast of Passover.

In both stories about the Eucharist—the washing of the disciples’ feet and the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes — St. John teaches us that the Eucharist is an action. In fact, the Holy Eucharist is both a sacrament and a sacrifice. Under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received. It is stressed by the Church that the whole of Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. We use the words “really, truly, and substantially” to describe Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord’s teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only by His power (EWTN Website). The word Eucharist is taken from the Greek language and describes an action: ‘To give thanks’. In the Eucharist we are fed by Jesus Himself, and we are sent to serve others.

Thus, this initiative of feeding us, and then sending us to serve others is a continuous flow of action. Everything that we do: our family life, Church work, career, advocacies, etc. will remain short and almost worthless if we keep these in our own hands. If we want to make these better and worthy to succeed, we need Our Lord who will offer to God the Father our own ‘five loaves and two fishes.’ We have to learn to let go and let God. This is the only way to multiply what little that we have into something abundant and meaningful. Small things these may be to us, but God will open the floodgates of blessings to make these enough to feed thousands of others.

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