The story about Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and fish in today’s gospel marks the great miracle in the life of the Disciples, exhausted and tired of the situation, and the hungry, oppressed and deprived crowd that follow Him all the way with so much trust and hope.

Jesus himself saw the needs of His disciples and they saw the needs of the crowds. In our daily work and routine, we were brought, our eyes were opened, our hearts were opened to the many needs of our world today. The needs of the people around our community, the needs of the workers who lost their job, the needs of the Frontliners, the needs of the Families that lost their loved ones and the needs of the suffering members of the Church. The word of Jesus in the gospel leads us to see the needs… the needs of others – the way Jesus saw the needs of his disciples and the disciples saw the needs of the world.

After recognizing the needs of his disciple and the people, Jesus challenges disciples to respond to these needs, saying “Why don’t you give them something to eat?” Jesus knew that they had nothing, yet He called the disciples’ attention and challenged them to respond to that condition, knowing that they couldn’t do it. He wanted them to feel and experience the helplessness of not being able to provide what is needed. The same happens to us, today’s disciples: after being presented with the current issues and problems of the world, I found myself helpless and powerless to respond to its demand. I have nothing to give! And I don’t have to give! The gospel helps me to realize I have loaves and fishes in my hand, I have it all throughout my life, I have it but I don’t give it. Then I remembered the song I usually listen every time I felt helpless in my mission; its title is “Five loaves and two Fishes”. It is about the generosity of a young boy who gave the little pieces of bread and two fish to feed the multitude. As the song goes, it says:

“Take my five loaves and two fishes, do with it as you will; 

I surrender, take my fear, my inhibitions,

all my burden, my ambitions; 

you can use it all to feed them all.”

I was called to be generous enough, to give what I have, and to offer what I can. The bread of my capacities, gifts and desires, and the fish of my work and suffering for the sake of the Church, all of these are not mine and are not meant to be hidden, but to be used to feed them all.

I know for sure that none of us is blind to see the reality of the world we are living right now, and I know that all of us were moved to do something, but do we really move? Do we really care? Unless we will not commit like the little boy in the gospel, we will not attain the miracle of feeding the multitude.  We will not be worthy to be part of this miracle! What it is to recognize the needs of our brother and sister and being challenged to take action to this, when we don’t have a generous heart to give ourselves in the service of our mission?

The miracle that Jesus performed in the Gospel will not be accomplished without the generosity of the boy, without your generosity.

     Manila Community