Tuesday, January 5, 2016

“Everyone would like to have stronger faith. By themselves, the scriptures may not strengthen your faith, but being faithful to what they teach, does.”

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ― Thomas Merton: (1915  - 1968: American Catholic writer and Trappist monk)

Gospel Text: (Matthew 6:34-44)
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things. 
By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already very late. 
Dismiss them so that they can go 
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat.” 
He said to them in reply,
“Give them some food yourselves.” 
But they said to him,
“Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?” 
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” 
And when they had found out they said,
“Five loaves and two fish.” 
So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. 
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. 
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, 
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people;
he also divided the two fish among them all. 
They all ate and were satisfied. 
And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish. 
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

This story is about Jesus’ teaching His disciples that they are poor too having just five loaves and two fish and such a large crowd to feed. They desire to avoid their poverty by having Jesus send the hungry crowd away to forage for themselves while they would eat the fish themselves. If they are going to be persons extending His mission of mercy and care then they have to first receive from the Bread-of-Life to be sent as “Bread-Persons” into the surrounding villages of this world.

Jesus is instructing His disciples that they cannot give Him away without first having received their poverty and then His riches. We never stop learning this lesson!

Faith begins with the acceptance of our poverty and leads to letting Him do much with our little. When I cannot accept my little, then my faith is less. This is His truth and it has more lives than a cat!

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