Wednesday, May 17, 2017

There is always enough

Many Churches are faced with the issue of resources. Will there be enough money? Are then enough volunteers? Do we have enough seats in the Church for more people? These are daily struggles (or struggles similar to them) that every Orthodox Christian parish faces in America. Today’s Gospel has the answer.
Today’s Gospel Reading: John 6:5-14 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus, lifting up his eyes and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?" Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!"
Everything we possess comes from God, even if we think we “worked for it” all our life. Our financial resources, our talents, our knowledge, even our very life was given to us by God. Each of these gifts has been a cooperative effort between God, us, and many times the efforts and time of others. Just as it was a cooperative effort between Christ and a young lad to feed more than five thousand, Christ depends upon our cooperation to reach out to those around us.

Next time you wonder if your Church will have enough resources to take seriously its role in feeding the spiritual poor (and physically poor) with the Gospel of Christ, remember that when you are cooperating with God, not only will there be enough, there will be plenty left over!

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