Sunday, July 29, 2012

Unsung Hero

I went to Nipa today, to Saint Fidelis Parish to celebrate Sunday Mass.  Father Marek Kondrat is the parish priest.  The weather was cold and drizzly, but the welcome was warm and gracious.  Below is an excerpt (and translation) of the homily that I shared on this happy occasion:

In the Gospel for today (Jn 6: 1-15), faced with the challenge of feeding 5,000 people Andrew steps forward and says:  "There's a boy here who has 5 barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"  What was the lad doing with the loaves and fishes?  Was he coming back from the store with supper for the family?  Did he see the crowd and think that he could make some money selling his wares to the highest bidder?  We will never know on this side of eternity.  However there is something we do know.  He put his five loaves and two fish into the hands of Jesus... and a miracle happened.  Jesus took a little and He did a lot!  In fact, He did more than a lot!  There were twelve baskets of left-overs!

In the Gospel today, Jesus shows us something of the Kingdom of God - there will be enough to go around and then some!  He also shows us something about his power, his love and his compassion for people in their human needs.  He did not just love peoples' souls...  He loved people - and was concerned about their needs, whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual.

But let's also give a cheer for the unsung hero of today's Gospel - the young lad who had a heart that was not afraid to share.  He put five loaves and two fish in Jesus' hands and helped Jesus to feed 5,000 people.

Sometimes we think that there is not much that we can do.  We feel that we don't have much to offer.  (Or maybe, we are afraid to give what we have.) At times like these, we have to think of this young man - and not just think about him, but follow his generous example.  If we place what we have in the hands of Jesus, miracles will follow and we will be a part of them.

One last thought.  The Gospel tells us that Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, gave thanks to God and then gave it to the people.  That means that the boy gave it all to Jesus.  He didn't keep a fish sandwich for himself - to make sure that he had himself covered in case something went wrong with Jesus' plan.  Are we prepared to put all that we have and all that we are into the hands of the Lord?  We do just that when we take time every day to pray; or when we strive to do the right thing, when the wrong thing looks more attractive; or when we think of our wife or husband or neighbor or friend before we think of ourselves; or when we are generous with our time, talents and treasure with our church family or others in need.

And let's not forget the miracle that happens at every Mass.  We bring ourselves to the Lord together with the simple gifts of bread and wine - and He in turn gives us Himself as the Bread of Life!

1 comment:

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