When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
My own brief thoughts from today’s Gospel/homily: the disciples were told to feed the crowds themselves. They knew they didn’t have enough, that what Jesus asked of them was crazy by normal standards, but they had faith and brought him what little they did have. He did the rest. Yes, he could have created food out of nothing, but he chose to use human beings–with all their shortcomings–as his instruments.
Yes, what we’re called to may seem crazy. It may seem like way more than we can handle. We may want to give up, or we may wish God would just take care of everything without any effort on our part, without being transformed through his grace working through us. Instead, we need to bring our meager offerings to him–our small talents, our feeble strength, our few resources–and let him take them farther than we dream possible.