Sunday, June 6, 2010

5 Loaves and 2 Fish Are All We Have...

As I listened today to the proclamation of the Gospel according to Luke (Lk 9:11b-17 ) in which Jesus takes 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and feeds a crowd of 5,000, I couldn't help but think about just how incredible our God truly is. Even in preparing for today's Mass by reading the Gospel ahead of time, I was struck by the same thought-- our God is truly an awesome God. Jesus teaches us through this miracle that we can bring Him the equivalent of our "5 loaves and 2 fish" and He will turn it into something greater than we ever could have even imagined. If we commit the work of our hands, however feeble, to Jesus, He will take it and turn it into something life-giving, something miraculous, something that helps Him to establish His Kingdom here on earth.

This same multiplication of "food" happens every time Mass is celebrated. For as we offer up our gifts of bread and wine, we also offer up, in the words of Teilhard, our "labors" and our "pains" and place them on the altar along with the food, so that we, too, may be transformed into Christ's Body and Blood. Then nourished by his Body and Blood, and having become what we have received, we are sent forth to be Christ to others. But, we are not sent alone...God is with us.

Archbishop Oscar Romero, in his Prayer Before Serving Others, puts it this way:

This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may not be complete, but it is a beginning, a step along with the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

As we prepare for the 2010 - 2011 school year, let us dedicate all of our efforts to God. From our teachers in preparing dynamic lessons, to our students working diligently in and out of the classroom, to our parents in their support of Incarnation Catholic School, let us pray that even though "5 loaves and 2 fish" are all we have, when we turn it over to the "master builder", it will prove to be more than enough.