Gospel Lk 9:11B-17
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
"Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here."
He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves."
They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people."
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
"Have them sit down in groups of about fifty."
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse.
What draws me the most in this passage is the dialogue first in the hearts of the twelve disciples, then with each other and then with our Lord. Watching them, they must have felt inadequate in the midst of all the requests and expectations coming at them from the crowds. Maybe others were sharp with them, chided them for not having food available or ‘knowing the plan’ for the rest of the day. Maybe they were tired and hungry too from serving others. They did the first right thing, which was; they brought the ‘problem’ to Jesus. I love our Lord’s response; “Give them some food yourselves”. It strikes me as something a Father would say to his small child, when the child runs to him and tells him he broke a window that costs $500 and the Father tells the child to use his allowance and the child doesn’t have a steady allowance whatsoever. The Father doesn’t expect the child to cover it, but wants Him to feel the weight of the gift being given. (that it is beyond his means)
It can be painful to see our poverty--sometimes when we come to the Lord with a need it seems He only clarifies how incapable we are to “fix” it. The danger here is too pull back from the Lord, to pull back from what does not seem to be mercy. And yet Jesus’ invitation to His disciples, “Give them some food yourselves” is only carving in their souls a greater capacity for joy. Jesus isn’t “rubbing their inadequacy in their face” but rather drawing them to look clearly so that they might also see how lavishly He desires to provide for them, how eager he is to do all for them. He desires to teach them what He can do with their surrendered poverty.
On this beautiful solemnity of Corpus Christi the whole Church celebrates the lavish providence of the Lord, the unimaginable way in which He has provided for us in our poverty by giving us His very self. This has always been the Church’s joy, that God has given Himself to us as pure Gift—not earned, not obtained by our resources. This Love is the cause of our joy.
Examen Point: Where do I feel my need and inadequacy the most right now? Where am I trying to provide for myself, instead of allowing God to do it?
Prayer: “Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you.” Amen.