Sometimes when we are faced with people’s needs and look at our own resources we can sit down in a state of depression, believing that we have nothing to give. The hunger of people is so vast and our abilities are so small: what can we do? But all care and all ministry is a sharing from poverty. None of us has all the answers; none of us are millionaires in mercy and compassion. But to the very poor we are like millionaires. We are obliged to share our meagre resources, of compassion, love and material goods.
We are challenged to be the body of Christ. Jesus shared himself; he gave himself away; he became bread for those who hunger and thirst for the presence of God. The promise of the Gospel is that if we share our poverty then we too will inherit a kingdom prepared for us from the beginning of the world.
In today’s Gospel the poor and the hungry are not overlooked or ignored or embarrassed. Jesus takes the little the Apostles have and shows how the little they have is more than enough to answer the hunger of the crowd. In telling the story Luke uses the language associated with the Eucharist as he speaks of Jesus taking the bread, saying the blessing, breaking the bread and sharing it. The miracle is that when the apostles share the little they have in the name of Jesus they discover that the crowd is satisfied. There is no need to send anyone away. In fact there is enough left over to feed another crowd.
We are called to be the Body of Christ and we are called to satisfy the needs of the poor, lonely and marginalised.