Back in 1956 my father was an auto mechanic at a dealership in Greenport. One day a car came in that had hit a telephone pole and bent the frame in the front section. My father bought the car at a very good price and would go to the garage after supper to lift the body off the bent frame and put it back on a new frame. He took me with him the night he put the body back on the frame. I laid in the trunk holding the head of the bolts with a wrench while he was underneath tightening the nuts to make the union of the body and frame secure. Together we did what could not be done alone. My father was a very strong man and I was just a skinny eleven-year-old.
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21) reminds me of that experience. Jesus had healed many sick people and it was getting late. The disciples urged Him to send them on their way so they could buy some food for themselves. Jesus’ response was not what they were prepared to hear: “ There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” Jesus got the crowd to sit down and took five loaves and two fish and multiplied them to feed more than 5,000 people. United with Jesus the disciples did what they never have done alone.
Where do we see ourselves working with Jesus to feed the people entrusted to us? Our food is not necessarily groceries, but the nourishment of our loving, concerned presence. With all the unrest we see in our nation today there are still countless acts of goodness and love that never make the headlines. Our parish is a wonderful sign of that. Every day, people can come to our Outreach Office and get food. Our pantry never runs dry because you the people of the parish and others are constantly dropping off donations. Last weekend we had seven Baptism ceremonies where we joyfully welcomed seven children into our Church family. Thirteen young people received their First Holy Communion. And the miracle we take for granted happened last Sunday as it does every single day when we celebrate Mass and all present are fed with Jesus Himself in the bread that is His Body in Holy Communion. It is His presence that opens our minds and hearts in hope as we reach out to one another. The challenge we face is to contribute to the unity, reconciliation, and peace we so need as the people of America today. We need a miracle. But miracles only happen when we trust in God and His Way. If a skinny eleven-year-old can work with his strong father, so we who are the children of God can accomplish wonders and sustain hope when we put our trust in Him and His Way.
I offer this prayer that I pray every day.
Gracious God, we are your people embraced by your love. We thank you for your presence with us throughout all time. Create us anew. Liberate us from that which keeps us from you. Enable us to recreate our world and restore justice. Heal us from every form of sin and violence. Transform us to live your Word more profoundly. Reconcile us so enemies become friends. Awaken us to the sacred; nurture our relationships. Enliven our parishes; reunite our families. Fill us with joy to celebrate the fullness of life. Empower us to be a community of love growing in your likeness.
Amen.BACK TO LIST