The Lord Will Multiply What We Have
August 6, 2023:
10th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Nehemiah 9:16-20
Most of us when faced with trials and persecutions, feelings of frustration, helplessness and even hopelessness enter our lives. But in today’s Gospel, we see Christ and how He dealt with difficult situations. John the Baptist had just died and it was natural for Him to be sad since John was the one who baptized Him and prepared the way for His coming. At this time, Herod had taken the wife of his brother and made her his own wife. So John confronted him and said it was wrong. During a party, he asked the daughter what she wanted. The daughter consulted the mother and she was told to bring the head of John the Baptist. When the disciples told Jesus the news that John had been beheaded, He immediately left and went up the mountain to be alone. The multitude however, followed him. When He saw them, He felt compassion upon them. In spite of feeling emotionally exhausted, He still ministered to the people. He saw this as an opportunity to give glory to God. The death of John the Baptist was a sad event but He reached out to the people instead. When it was getting late, the disciples told Jesus that the crowd should be sent away so they can return home to their villages. But Christ wasn’t about to send them home. He felt responsible for the people. He wasn’t going to let them go away hungry. Just like what God did in the wilderness for the children of Israel. He fed them. Isaiah 63: 8 He said, “Surely they are my people, children who will be true to me”; and so he became their Savior. In the same manner, Christ fed the multitude. He took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish from a little boy’s lunch, held this in his hands up to heaven and gave thanks to God for what He had. He then gave instructions to the disciples to have the people sit on the grass in companies of 50s and a hundred. He began to break the bread and divide the fish and gave the food to the disciples so they could distribute this to the people. A little boy gave up the little that he had, and Christ turned this into something that fed more than 5 thousand men, including women and children. Notice that Christ did not ask God to multiply the bread. He thanked God for what He had in His hands.
Today, we have been given the potential to change the world. And yet we keep complaining about the situations in our lives. Jesus did not let the sadness of John’s passing affect Him. He still met the needs of the people. Scripture tells us that the people were all full and satisfied. As Christ broke the bread, the bread kept multiplying, so much so that in the end there were 12 basketfuls left. In the Old Testament, we are reminded by the story of the widow from Zarephath, who fed the prophet Elisha by making bread out of the little supply of oil and flour she had in her possession. She was gathering sticks so she could make the food enough for her and her son. But she obeyed the prophet. And because of this, God blessed her to the point that her jar of oil and jar of flour never ran out and she had more than enough to feed her loved ones.
We should be the tools that God can use to feed the world. God teaches us a vital lesson in these stories. In the case of the feeding of the multitude, it was a little boy who was instrumental. And God empowered Christ to cause the little that the boy had to multiply. Jesus, too, when He was sending His disciples out to minister, He gave instructions to them to not bring anything. But He met all their needs.
For all of us today, we are called to build His Kingdom and not our own. We usually use our own judgment to analyze people, things and situations. But Scripture tells us that the earth is the Lord’s. We are supposed to be working with Christ to build His Kingdom. God created us to be like Him and He has empowered us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He gave us wisdom and discernment. We need to walk in what He has already given us. We’ve got to act on what we have and be thankful. Being thankful to God opens the door for Him to bless us. If we come to Christ, we will never go home empty. On the Cross, He fed us life. He has given us all that we need. We have a task to do.