As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.”’ When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. (Mark 6:34-44)
Of all the miracles Jesus did, this is the only one which is repeated in all four gospels.
As such, there is a lesson which each of the Gospel writers believed was imperative to teach. Of course, there is the obvious message that when the Lord gives, He gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others.
That lesson, as do all Gospel lessons, leads us back to ourselves. We always have to stop and ask what is it saying to ME? We must do that because it is His word that should be our moral compass in a world that seems to have lost direction.
Society is on edge; the mob explodes in panic at even a hint of a wild dog. Too many people face physical and spiritual hunger. Many wonder “Why am I here?” or “What should I do with my life?” “Does anyone love me?” “What will become of me?”
That’s where you and I come in . . . again.
“Again” because we have to. There can be no kingdom of heaven in our living if we do not know the right path. Teaching the kingdom of heaven is to teach freedom, and to heal people from slavery, and free them from powerlessness in the face of the wild dogs and the false shepherds.
Jesus says if we want to be His disciples, His followers, we’ve got to get involved, we’ve got to be willing to sacrifice for our sisters and brothers, to deny self so as to be able to help them. He makes it quite clear that it is the best way to live, the happiest way. Why? Just look at the reward! What a joy it must have been to be a part of that exciting incident, feeding the five thousand with just five loaves of bread and two fish. And to end up with more than at the start.
In His words ” You go feed them.”
The joy that we receive springs from the fact that we are helping people “feed their soul.” If we miss the feeding of the soul that Jesus engaged in as he “taught them many things,” we short change ourselves and the hungry crowd in which we live.
Think of the times that you have stepped out in faith and gone beyond your comfort zone to help another. Think of the times that you have received.
Time and again, each of have stories to share of “blessings in disguise” where there were people, time, places, or instances that God used to bring this miracle into our daily struggles. We also have to recognize those apparent miracles that not only inspire people but also made their faith stronger and changed their lives or ours.
They become God’s face for us to encounter. Indeed, God created us in His image, and the manifestations of these sensations partly fulfill our purpose to be His instruments in spreading His infinite love and mercy.
Getting involved makes our Christian lives a joy. We become a part of God’s exciting work in the world. And without a doubt we will end with more than we began with, more joy, more meaning, more of God’s blessings both spiritual and temporal.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 81:16). Fill me with gratitude for your blessings and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me.”
Sharing loaves to the hungry may sound clichéd for others, but for the starved, it’s a miracle. Sharing loaves doesn’t limit to it literally. Part of our time to listen to a friend in despair and comfort him is sharing our loaves of bread to him. Calling a relative and asking him how he is and his family is also sharing our meals. Making children laugh and teach them to be grateful for daily miracles and blessings is also sharing our loaves. Being kind to the people we live in one roof (like our family) is also sharing our loaves. More so, forgiving ourselves from our past mistakes and sins is also sharing God’s living bread.