the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. From the Gospel of Matthew
5000 PEOPLE AND HUNGER. Its out there, for many things, and we all have it. But we also have what it takes. Like the disciples we’re finding ourselves at our limits – “send them away to take care of themselves”. We’re in need today and the wide net of God’s mercy thrown into the sea of life has caught us all- together. We have choices which we’re free to make, or to ignore, to do something. And that’s exactly what Jesus is telling us: YOU give them something. And our limitations and fears rise to haunt and paralyze us. “We have nothing here but…….” For the disciples it was nothing but 5 loaves and 2 fish. The gospel is telling us though, that we have what it takes – it takes our “nothing but..” It takes our Nothing but everything. And that’s all Jesus wants – “YOU bring it to me” he says -bring me your nothing, empty, powerless everything and your needs- and see how power is made perfect in weakness and nothingness – see how my grace and mercy is sufficient for you – see what can be done when you bring your “nothing” to me. His sign – offering our “nothing but” to God and then offering it for all – the disciples receive their “nothing but” back and pass it along for everybody. And all the hungry ate and were filled – Yes a miracle – Yes there is a God – Yes we have what it takes: nothing but everything offered to God and choosing to be a part of his miracle plan – receiving his mercy and salvation and sharing that with others.
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy / Like the wideness of the sea;/There’s a kindness in his justice, Which is more than liberty. / There’s a welcome for the sinner, And more graces for the good;There is mercy with the Savior; / There is healing in his blood.
Draw near to us O Jesus as we seek to serve you, and answer our prayers with unceasing mercy; that as we glory in you as our Creator and Guide, you will restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored by your precious blood. Amen.