Jesus had a serious conversation with His disciples. It was already late in the evening, and the people who followed them were still around. The situation was a significant concern. There were 5,000 men (not including women and children) who needed food (John 6:1-15). The place was remote and secluded. The surroundings were dark and quiet. It might have been unsafe for the people to go to the villages to secure some food. How could they feed all of them should they stay?
This situation on the mountain may reflect our concerns. There are times that we have challenging problems: We may be struggling with our marriage. We may be grappling with financial concerns or unemployment. We may be grieving for the loss of a loved one.
There are times that it is hard to find any optimism to move on and continue with life. Everything looks dimmed around us. Quiet and dark. We may think of doing desperate things or giving up.
Jesus asks us to keep looking around. Glitters of hope still surround us. There are still people who care and are willing to extend a hand. They may appear insignificant or inadequate. However, do not disregard them.
In the case of the apostles, Andrew, one of the twelve found a boy who had a small meal—five loaves of barley and two fish. The boy for sure was also hungry. The food he had was not much. It may only be enough for himself and his family. However, when asked, the boy was kind enough to offer the little that he had. What good are these for so many (Jh 6:10)? Nobody had any idea that Jesus would use the food coming from his hand to feed the multitude. The miracle of multiplication took place.
Jesus shows us that our willingness to share is where miracles begin.
I met a family with five children. The father works as a construction worker. He could not afford to send his children to college on his regular income. He said, “When I tried to calculate my income, it was only sufficient for our basic needs.” However, his children’s education was important to them. He and his wife did some extra work to pay for enrolment. While at school, the children were able to find scholarships. Along the way, they were also able to find some part-time work.
Just last year, the youngest child had finished his college degree. This family produced an accountant, a lawyer, and a nurse. All the children are doing well in their lives. Above all, the family is drawn together with an abundance of love and care for each other. They remain thankful to God for He has opened the way for them, and “for making things possible to happen for us.”
God’s intervention cannot be reduced to a mere human prescription and computation. There are no means that five loaves and two fish would feed more than 5,000 people in whatever way you analyze it. God’s miracles are not about proportion.
God touches and multiplies our small acts of love and enables us to share in His abundant blessings.
At times, we think that we are short of resources to contribute to the welfare of others. Every so often, we are focused only on addressing our own needs. We are tempted to disregard others’ needs because we think that our small contributions may not make a difference in their lives.
Jesus’ miracles of the multiplication of bread and fish tell us that a genuine act of kindness goes a long way. Like the child who offered the loaves of bread and fish into the hands of God, we are also able to witness how God transforms little things into abundance.
God touches everything given with love and multiplies it a million times over.
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