Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute.
Did you ever stop on a hiking trail because the scene before you was amazing, only to find that, a few steps further on, the view is even more astounding? That’s one way to look at today’s Gospel (Mark 8:6). Jesus takes seven loaves of bread and a few fish and feeds a hungry crowd of thousands, with food to spare. That’s amazing, no doubt.
Now take a step further, and set your gaze a little higher. It’s absolutely astounding that today, Jesus still gives thanks for whatever little we offer him. He blesses it and multiplies it, just as he did two thousand years ago. Of course, we see this every time we celebrate the Mass, but it happens in so many other ways as well.
For example, St. John Vianney knew that his mission to stir up love for God in the town of Ars was beyond his ability. And so he did what he could. He prayed for the townspeople, visited their homes, and listened to them. Jesus blessed what Vianney offered, and thousands of nineteenth-century French men and women experienced conversion. As another example, think of Mother Teresa picking up just one dying person and the world seeing Jesus multiply her act of compassion astonishingly.
You too have some small loaf of bread or perhaps a single meager fish to offer Jesus. Instead of focusing on how small it might look, just give it to him. Don’t be afraid to offer it to God even if you think it’s insignificant. Those small things matter—and you never know what the Lord will do with them.
Then start with whatever simple act you can. Spend some extra time praying for conversions. Try to listen more patiently to people. Help someone in need. Along the way, God will refine your understanding of what he wants and teach you how best to serve him. The results won’t be instantaneous; maybe you’ll never see the difference you are making. But just as Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves, you can trust that whatever you offer him, he will give thanks for it, bless it, and multiply it!
“Jesus, I offer you my life and the gifts you have given me. I trust you to multiply all my efforts to serve you.”
1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34
Psalm 106:6-7, 19-22