As we offer and lift up to God the little we have and possess, God will multiply and make miracles!

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

2 KINGS 4:42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.” “For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’” And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.

EPHESIANS 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

JOHN 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to 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?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to 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. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

The importance of the multiplication of the loaves and the feeding of the five thousand is indicated by the fact that, besides the Resurrection, it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It prefigures the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist through which our souls are nourished. By mentioning the feast of the Passover (John 6:4) in this Gospel passage, St. John connects this miracle with the deliverance from the slavery of sin through Christ’s death and resurrection, and the providence of God.

There are three main conditions for the miracle to happen — our trust in the Lord, selflessness, and unity. Instead of relying on human’s abilities, Jesus teaches His disciples to trust in Him, even in extreme situations where we are lacking in every aspect and resources are scarce. We are invited to be selfless in giving what we have for the common good and trust that God will multiply our humble contributions (our resources, time, and talents) beyond our imagination for the need of the whole community. This spirit of generosity will also spread and empower one another in selfless giving. As we put others (community) first, we learn to share the gifts and resources that are entrusted to each one of us (the spirit of stewardship). It will bring about unity and oneness instead of individualism and selfishness. And that will maintain “the unity of the Spirit” as instructed by St. Paul in today’s second reading. (Ephesians 4:3)

Our Lord is a generous God. Not only does He provide to satisfy our needs but we will also be in abundance, with lots of leftovers! (rf. John 6:11-13) Let us always have faith in the Lord and be united with our brothers and sisters even when we face seemingly impossible challenges. He will provide and deliver us from harm and evil.

As we offer and lift up to God the little we have and possess, God will multiply and make miracles!

“You open your hand to feed us, Lord; you satisfy all our needs.” (Psalm 145)

Posted: July 26, 2015

Paul Yeung

 
Executive Director of Fountain of Love and Life (FLL).


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