SAINT NICHOLAS, BISHOP (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
He took the seven loaves and the fish.
For generations, mothers and fathers have been inviting their children to help with all kinds of projects that the kids may not be fully capable of doing. Whether it’s baking cookies or painting a fence, young kids rarely have a whole lot to add. If anything, they might end up making a bit of a mess! But the beauty is that what little they do bring is always enough because the parents delight in working alongside their children.
While it might seem unrelated at first, this isn’t far from what is going on in today’s Gospel. A monumental task lies in front of Jesus and his followers: feeding thousands of hungry people! But all his disciples had were seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Yet from this small offering, everyone ate their fill. Just as a father can transform his child’s haphazardly cut lumber into a birdhouse, God loves working with us and using whatever we offer to accomplish something beyond our imagination.
Like the disciples, you may look at the demands and responsibilities in your life and ask the same question: “Do I have enough? Am I enough?” You may wonder if you have enough wisdom or energy to be the sort of parent or spouse God is asking you to be. Or if you’re talented enough to share the gospel with others. But God is the best of all parents, and he doesn’t require perfection. He simply asks us to give him what we have, whatever strength and energy we can muster, and let him take care of the rest. He enjoys bringing us alongside him and working together with us. He “takes delight in his people” (Psalm 149:4)!
Sometimes it can be quicker and easier for parents to do things themselves instead of enlisting the help of their children. Likewise, there surely are more efficient ways for God to work in the world. And yet he chooses to work with us—with you. Even if you “make a mess,” he is ready and able to build something beautiful with you. He delights in blessing you and countless others as you offer your gifts to him. Come with me! he calls. Let’s see what we can build today!
“Thank you, Lord, that you enjoy my company. I give you all that I have today.”