EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle A/Year II (August 2, 2020)
Is 55:1-3/Rom 8:35, 37-39/Mt 14: 13-21
It was a long day of walking and preaching. Both Jesus and the multitude of His followers were hungry and tired. The disciples of Jesus made a practical suggestion to Jesus requesting that the crowd be sent back home so that they might be able to rest and prepare for their food as they were in a deserted place. But Jesus Christ had compassion towards the people and ordered His disciples to feed them.
The disciples were shocked by the order of Jesus since they did not know where to get food to feed the multitude. They only found five loaves and two fishes. Like these disciples, we are given a mission or an obligation by any authority or superior and such obligation seems gigantic in our thinking that we are overwhelmed. We do not know what to do. We do not know how to fulfil the obligation. We are aware of our limited knowledge and capacity and because of this, we become hopeless.
In times like this, Jesus Christ is asking us to offer to Him what little we may have. The disciples brought to Jesus the five loaves and two fishes that they got. These were nothing as compared to the needed food to feed the multitude. We too may have very minimal to offer to Jesus. But what Jesus is asking us is to offer what we have because whatever is offered to Jesus can be transformed by the power of God. Out of five loaves and two fishes, Jesus fed the five thousand men, not counting the children and the women. He multiplied the loaves and the fishes just to feed the multitude. But this miracle would not happen if the disciples did not offer to Jesus the little food that they had.
Often times, we are afraid to offer to God the things that we have: talent, time, money, effort, etc. We believe that these are but little and are not sufficient to fulfil our mission or obligation. We are controlled by how little we think of ourselves. We may be little in the sense that we have a very limited capacity and resources, yet we have God who is big and powerful and who can do miracles. If we entrust what we have to Jesus and if we have faith in Him, nothing is impossible. Certainly, Jesus will empower us to fulfil our mission/obligation.
So the problem is not how little what we have but rather how little our faith is. The disciples were uneducated and were the very ordinary people during that time. But Jesus chose them to become the foundation of His Church. He transformed them to be the Apostles of Christ. If we have strong faith in Jesus, we can do wonders because Jesus Christ will do things for us. In other words, Jesus Christ does not call those who are powerful and capable. Rather He empowers and makes capable those whom He calls. This means that we are not called because of our capacity. We must not rely on ourselves. Rather it is Jesus who capacitates us if we entrust ourselves to Him. We therefore must rely on Jesus. If we rely on Jesus and on His power, we know that we can do impossible things.