Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From Meagre to Fully Fed

Last weekend’s live streaming of the Vigil Mass had flaws. A number of people inquired about what happened. The total hits on the site doubled, because most people were trying more than once to get in. It’s another vindication that there is a great hunger for spiritual nourishment. In the current situation there are a lot of limitations. More than technical glitches, stay at home orders and closed churches mean we can’t have the Eucharist and Holy Communion for spiritual nourishment. We are very well aware of our limitations. At this juncture John 6:1-15 can be a special inspiration.

As the spiritually hungry crowd gathered around him by the side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asked Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5). The disciples were very well aware of their limitations. Their response was, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little” (John 6:7). It is human nature to think of the inadequacies first. But Jesus can provide abundance from the meagre resources you bring to him with hearts of gratitude. Our Lord miraculously fed the crowd with those little provisions and there were plenty of left overs. I can recall times when I gratefully used what little resource I had in my ministry; the results were beyond my expectations.

In spite of the limitations of the lockdown, you too can find some resources to help you spiritually. Your prayer schedule, resources on the internet, extra time to share faith stories with your family, Bible reading and so on. Just as the boy in the Gospel story brought five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, let us also take our meagre resources to Jesus so that he can multiply his grace for us and nourish you and me to our satisfaction. The Lord of the Eucharist will not disappoint you.