When huge crowds gather to hear Jesus’ words, they come with hunger for his words and soon experience physical hunger. A seemingly impossible feeding of the hungry presents itself. An unlikely, unnamed little boy gifts his bread and fish and miraculously all are fed. And there are leftovers collected.
The boy with no name was recognized by one of the apostles as having a gift to offer, a gift that would solve the problem. Among so many, one boy, one gift! And the effort was miraculously multiplied!
Yesterday I had a conversation with a woman, a mother in our parish who is actively discerning what God is calling her to do next. During the conversation, she named several other older women who had invited her to consider using a specific gift they recognize in her. The older women, like the apostles, recognize that she can offer what she has, let God multiply it, and all will be gifted, will be fed with spiritual gifts.
As I listen to many of you describe your lives—the way you felt, the people you reached out to, the actions you took—I recognize that many of you have discovered during this pandemic that simple things can bring so much joy and love to you and to your families. When you encountered the absence of things you thought you needed to survive, you discovered new thoughts, new ways of being together, and new relationships. You had more time to pray. You volunteered to help others. You planted gardens. You stopped doing some things and that has been good!
Miracles occur in our daily lives. Like the boy in the gospel, we too have something to offer, to be part of and to contribute to the effort. Where in your life do you see a scarcity that God might be planning to turn into abundance?