What is it that we are in need of today?
This Sunday we read what is probably one of the most famous parables. 5,000 people and no food to feed them. These people have gathered to hear from Jesus as he is starting to gain a reputation for healing the sick. People are expecting a lot from Jesus.
They realize quickly that there is not enough food for all, yet Jesus doesn’t immediately tell the disciples what to do. He does let them try to figure it out for themselves. He knows that they have everything they need to solve the problem. The disciples know that they don’t have the money necessary to buy food for all. I find this interesting as often we think if we only had more money we could solve our problems.
Andrew then points out there is young boy with some food. Why is it a boy that has the food? Jesus often points out that we need to be more childlike. Are children more willing to share what they have? Are our gifts more obvious as children? We often start to doubt ourselves as adults, we worry about what others think about us, we compare ourselves to each other rather than concentrating on the unique gifts that we bring to the group. Or is it to remind us that we all have something to offer to the community, no matter our place within that community?
The community had everything that it needed. All Jesus needed to do was point them in the right direction. When they started to take care of each other and work together, they realized they had more than they needed. Even when they were satisfied, there was enough to share. There were leftovers; and He told the disciples to gather them up. Fragments as they were called, morsels that didn’t seem to amount to much on their own, added up to more than they appeared to have had in the beginning. Once they had figured out what they needed, all they had to do was work towards something as a community. That day what they needed was the food.
What is it that we are in need of today? All of us have needs, whether they be personal or communal. How do we work together when our needs are so diverse? Or are they? What is the motivation, the moral imperative? If we can all agree that we are working for one purpose, then we can accomplish anything. And then we will realize our full potential. “I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” Ephesians 4.1-6
We need to take the time to find out what our contribution to the community is. What are we called to by Jesus? Are we thinking in terms of community, or only ourselves? We will all be provided for if we start to think in terms of all. As with the food, we have everything we need to sustain ourselves, we need only to listen to Jesus and work together for the community.
By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate