The gospel this weekend is the parable of the multiplication of bread, a sign of God’s generosity to His people; in this miracle God did not only feed the people, he gave them more than they needed; there were leftovers. This parable gives us hope that God will be ready to answer our prayers in our time of need, and he will give us more than we need.

But, as we reflect on this miracle of God’s generous love, let us not forget the challenge or the lesson in this miracle. Faced with such an overwhelming number of people in need, the first reaction of the apostles was to act as if the problem would just go away. The apostle asked Jesus to send the people away hungry, but Jesus would not accept a solution that pretended as if there was nothing that could be done. Instead he takes that small gift of loaves and fishes and feeds a multitude of people; a clear sign that solving the problem did not really depend on the size of the resources but on the compassion and generosity of God.  The lesson here is simple: when we offer our small gift, or make our little effort, it is God who provides the actual blessings; it is God who does the multiplication.

Our world is filled with a lot of needs. Millions of people live in poverty and go to bed hungry every day. We are surrounded by people who are truly alone, without a person in the world who loves them. The gospel invites us to give something, to give our little gift: a few loaves and fish, a kind word, a small donation, a helping hand, a decision to forget ourselves and choose to think of another, a short time spent in prayer lifting those in need before the Lord. And through Divine Multiplication, a miracle occurs. God turns our little gift into a tremendous blessing. We have the power to create a more beautiful world only if we give something; then Jesus can do the rest. Are you ready to give something? Are you ready to do something and allow God to do the multiplication? That’s for you to answer!

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