Sunday, July 31, 2011

Give them something to eat yourself

The Catholic notion of Grace is that God invites our co-operation, that is why Our Lady's "Fiat" is so important to us and not to classical Protestants, for them Grace is irresistable.

There are 5,000 plus the women and the children, an enormous crowd.
The common sense approach is to send them way to the nearby villages but Jesus says, "Give them something to eat yourself".
"You deal with it!"
So they present him with the 5 loaves and 2 small fish.
He takes them, says the blessing, breaks them and they distribute them, and the disciples, here, presumably it means the 12, because they collect a basket each from what is left over.

There were the Apostles, a fishermen like Peter, angry young men like James and John, the Son's of Thunder, others some better educated maybe some worst, Jesus says to them, 
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Left to their own resources they have nothing to offer, the task is too big for them. It is only by bringing All Things to Christ for him to take and bless and break that they have anything to offer. They do that and it appears that by end the end of the Apostolic Age there are a network of Churches around the Mediterranean.

Today we have the world to convert, the Church in our part of the world is contracting, the work of Christ is being unravelled, is it because we rely on our efforts rather than Christ? All he has given us is the Church and its Sacraments, by human standards they are less  5 loaves and 2 small fish, what is that amongst so many?

We have nothing, all we can do is to bring the little we have to him in prayer and in the Sacraments for him to take, bless and give back to us to distribute. If we rely on him the meagre is turned into abundance, the weak are made strong, the frightened given courage.

Whatever we need to do, even save our own soul, we have to acknowledge our poverty and bring it to Christ. This is why daily prayer, daily Mass if possible, frequent confession, coming into the presence of Blessed Sacrament is so important. Left to ourselves we have  5 loaves and 2 small fish, with him our basket are full.


umblepie said...

Thank you for this good post, Father.

Left-footer said...

Thank you Father Ray.It's the most encouraging thing I've heard or read today.

Anonymous said...

Props to my deacon's homily this morning when he actually spoke of the multiplication as a real miracle. There is a interpretation running around out there that the "miracle" was the crowd moved to share what they brought with them. Faugh.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes but that is not what any of the Evangelists intended us to understand.

parepidemos said...

Beautifully said, Fr. Blake, and also very thought provoking. In Scripture I am constantly struck by how God so often chooses as His instruments those whom others consider unimportant, sinners or rejects. It is their 'unimportance', their poverty which allows God's to work to be done. Thank you.

Our own PP dwelt on the Eucharist and how it not only nourishes, but transforms us into less-unworthy disciples. It was an equally enriching homily.

Left-footer said...

romishgraffiti - I heard this piece of nonsence first fro our wet R.I. teacher 55 years ago, and more recently from a Catholic Priest.

As you say, "Faugh!"

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father. Your thoughts here are helpful to me. In my prayers before Mass this morning, I was thinking "as a manager of Parish Church plc I am doomed to failure." As a priest of the Church Christ founded, I can rely on the grace he gives and try to be faithful rather than successful as Bl Mother Theresa said more than once.
A brother priest

Lepanto said...

@ romishgraffiti I was also relieved to hear a homily (from a visiting Indian priest) who referred to the multiplication as as one of many genuine miracles performed by Our Lord to teach a lesson. He said that the boy with the loaves and fishes represented ourselves, we need to give everthing we have to the Lord in faith and trust and he will make up for any insufficiency - great stuff!

JARay said...

I saw on another blog, the question posed "Where did the twelve empty baskets come from? People certainly did not come along with empty baskets when they set out to hear Jesus speak."
My response to that comment was that just as the loaves were multiplied, so could the baskets be multiplied to gather in the scraps.

Just another mad Catholic said...

My Parish Priest told us how the multiplication of the loaves was foreshadowed by the Prophet Elijah and itself foreshadows the Holy Eucharist.

EditorCT said...

Because Sister Lucia of Fatima said that Our Lady "has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary" in our times "to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or especially spiritual in the personal life of each one of us, of our families of the families of the world or of the religious communities or even of the life of peoples and nations that canot be solved by the Rosary", because Our Lady said that, I would add that prayer, the Rosary, to Father's list of things we need to do today to save our souls.

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