How will you feed the 5000?
This Sunday’s Gospel, in which Jesus feeds 5000 people, should encourage in us a desire to minister to those in need, even when the situation seems inconvenient or impossible. We see that Jesus is seeking solitude with his disciples, but they are followed by the crowds. Jesus did not send the people away to fend for themselves. Instead, he stood firm in his faith, prayed to God, and took the initiative to feed the people. He was driven by his compassion for people in need, a compassion that we all share and should act on. This could mean taking leadership positions in the church or active participation in the life of the parish. Whatever our situation or status in life, we all have in each of us the means to make a difference.
In this Sunday’s readings we are told that God will provide food for all those who trust in him. But this does not give us the licence to sit down and passively wait for our food. Trusting God does not mean waiting for a miracle. In Christ we have a solution to famines, but not the solution of miraculous intervention. Faith is not about waiting for God to do things for us, but about us doing what God wants. Famine is not a call to faith but is rather the result of lack of faith. Because if we had faith, there would be love, and if there was love there would be selfless sharing, and with selfless sharing there would be no hunger. There is famine in our world today because we do not live as God wants us to live.
Let this Sunday’s readings be the catalysts for us to act on our compassion for those in need, whether by word or deed, and trust that others will see the justice of our cause and join us. Then, a dire situation which seems impossible may receive Christ’s love through our actions.