2 Kings 4:42-44
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”
The miracle of the loaves and fish begins with the disciples feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of people to feed with such meager resources. But what there is, it is enough. It is enough when Jesus takes the five loaves and two fish, gives thanks, breaks it, and distributes it among the people. Not only was there enough, there was more than enough. Lots of leftovers.
This is the only miracle story that appears in all four gospels. It is a powerful story that connects us to the Last Supper and our own Eucharist. But it also connects us to our own sense of feeling overwhelmed with the tasks given to us. We too often say, “Lord, what can I do with so little? I am not rich enough, talented enough, old enough, educated enough, strong enough.”
And Jesus says to us, “What you have is enough, and even more than enough.” It is enough when we allow him to take what we have, to bless it, and to say back to us, “Now, give them something to eat.” Give them what you do have. Give them a smile, a pat on the back, a dollar, a bit of volunteer time; give those around you a compliment, an offer to help with a home project, a ride to the doctor, a note to a grieving widow.
If we all took our meager little five loaves and two fish, and we together put them at the service of God’s people, there would be enough. In fact, there would be more than enough. When we gather for Mass, we all bring what little we have, and together with the bread and wine, it is blessed and broken and given to us to take back into the world. We won’t feed the hungry world all by ourselves. But together, all of us blessed by Jesus and sent into the world, we do have enough. More than enough. But first, we have to hand over the loaves and fish.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and is the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.