In today’s Gospel we see another miracle of Christ, this time by feeding thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. According to the Gospel more than 5000 ate enough so their stomachs were filled and still there was bread and fish left over. Today’s I don’t want so much to focus on the feeding miracle as much as the interaction between Christ and His Disciples.
When faced with so many hungry people Christ said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” He said this because the disciples had suggested that they were unable to meet the needs of the people, and so the people should be sent to where they could take care of themselves. The disciples were blind to the reality that they already had what the people needed. The people needed Christ, and He was right there, but the disciples were looking only at their own needs.
In our society we find ourselves faced with an overwhelming number of people in need, either hungry, homeless, sick, addicted, or even just lonely. There are so many suffering that we are tempted to look at them and want to send them away so they can take care of themselves. We tend to think about how someone else needs to “do something” without realizing that we already have what they need. We have Christ.
Today Christ is telling us. “Don’t send them away; YOU do something.” We already possess what will cure their wounds, fill their lonely hearts, soothe their pain, or comfort their loneliness. The problems of our society will not be solved by demanding others “do something” but when WE reach out and take those who are suffering by the hand to the One Who can heal them, Christ.
The disciples in today’s Gospel did not see the truth of Christ’s abilities, even though they were right next to Him. They had seen Him work miracles, and so have we. When will we realize that what will heal our society is not someone else, but us? It wasn’t until the disciples allowed Christ to work through their hands to the crowd that they realized there was enough, and more than enough, to meet the needs of the crowd. It won’t be until we allow Him to work through us that we will realize we had what society needed the whole time. It won’t be until we are able to see beyond our own needs, that we will see the miracles of God’s peace.
Thankfully it is never too late to change our ways. I invite each of us today to begin allowing God to work through us in one simple way. There are still three evenings for us to come together, to bring those who are in need of God’s peace, and pray the Paraklesis. Come to Church. Submit names of those you know are suffering. Listen to the words of Christ. “They need not go away; YOU do something!”