At that time, Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full.( Matthew 15:29-37)
We all know today’s scripture. The miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Sometimes we get caught up in the miracle. Surely, it is a sign of the great love and compassion that God has for his people. We take that into our hearts, feel warmed by it and walk away. But walking away is not why this miracle came about. Because within the miracle, within the actions of Jesus Christ, there are four verbs that should be the guide for our lives.
Take, bless, break, give.
We are called to take and bless, to break and give. We are called to take and bless. To take is to recognize God’s blessing in our lives. When we own the gifts, we have been given, we are led to bless God, to thank God for our gifts. So, the first two verbs call us to take and bless, to take and be thankful. What do we have to be thankful for? Many things: our health, our time, our family and friends, our talents, our abilities, our faith. All of these things are gifts and blessings. We must not walkthrough life in a daze, ignorant of what we have been given. We must recognize our gifts. We must take them and
To break and to give. The first step for each of us before we can give, is to make sure that we allow our gifts to be accessible. Then we must break anything that hinders us from giving those gifts to others. We need to break ourselves by being willing to change, to change whatever is necessary to allow the giving to happen. For some of us, we must change by being more aggressive. Others will need to be more humble or quiet. Some of us have to speak louder. Others more softly. Whatever change is required to allow our gift to be given, we must enact it. Unless our gifts are accessible to others and freely offered, the giving will not have an effect.
That guide, those actions can change our lives and the lives of others. And there is one enormous implication to those actions.
Living that guide reminds us that we are a people journeying to God’s kingdom. We do it together. As brothers and sisters in the family of God.
United. Not divided.
We know there is not disunity in the kingdom of God. Since that is the ultimate journey for us, going to the kingdom of God, how can we allow disunity in our lives? How can anyone making the journey pretend that it’s OK to be divisive, to be judgmental, to harbor ill thoughts and feelings, to sow discord and divisiveness?
His kingdom. Not the secular word. His bread feeds us and unites us. That’s the real food of his kingdom. When we eat from his table, we are both strengthened and transformed. We are called to proclaim the presence of the Lord until he comes again.
We are called to take, bless, break and give. May it be so in each of our lives.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you alone can satisfy the longing and hunger in our hearts. May I thirst for your kingdom and find joy in your presence. Give me the true bread of heaven and nourish me with your life-giving word.”
The miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes is a vivid reminder that Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, wants to give us through material, mystical and eschatological food, eyes to see him, ears to hear him, legs to follow him, opened tongues to proclaim him and reformed lives to witness him.