Miel is a licensed teacher, a "Jane-of-all-trades" master of none, with a passion for writing.
Multiplication of Loaves
Gospel: Mark 6: 34- 44
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat." He said to them in reply, "Give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Are we to buy two hundred days' wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?" He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out they said, "Five loaves and two fish." So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.
The story of the multiplication of loaves is present in all four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The only distinction is that in the Gospel of John, a boy provided the few pieces of loaves. The bearing of the story in all four Gospels indicates that this is a significant part of Christ’s life story.
But, one day, a priest once shared in his sermon that a miracle didn’t happen in the story. What happened was that when the boy shared his loaves, the others who also had a few pieces of loaves and fish with them shared their food to others, thus multiplied. The priest added that this was what they learned from their seminary.
Thus, you can sense the astonishment on the priest’s homily, and so was mine. But, reflecting on the story, I appreciated these personal implications:
Miracles do happen
Maybe it is in the sharing of the loaves that the people didn’t spot the miracle happening of the multiplication of loaves to feed every man, woman, and child on that incident. In our lives, there are occasions when we didn’t grasp straight away that the experiences indeed were one of God’s untold marvels. How often do we come across a noteworthy episode that left us in wonderment of God’s hands at work in our lives?
Time and again, we have stories to share of “blessings in disguise” where there were people, time, places, or instances that God used to bring this miracle into our daily struggles. But, we also have to recognize those apparent miracles that not only inspire people but also made their faith stronger and changed their lives.
Miracles do happen. Likewise, they don’t only transpire to people who profess their faiths as these numerous wonders are for everyone.
Anyone Can Be Your Miracle
The boy and the other people who shared their food are miracles to those who have nothing to eat at that time. For my part, I’ve had numerous stories of how people – family members, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers become miracles in my life.
They become God’s face for us to encounter. Indeed, God created us in His image, and the manifestations of these sensations partly fulfill our purpose to be His instruments in spreading His infinite love and mercy.
We Can Be Someone’s Miracle
Sharing loaves to the hungry may sound clichéd for others, but for the starved, it’s a miracle. Sharing loaves doesn’t limit to it literally. Part of our time to listen to a friend in despair and comfort him is sharing our loaves of bread to him. Calling a relative and asking him how he is and his family is also sharing our meals.
Making children laugh and teach them to be grateful for daily miracles and blessings is also sharing our loaves. Being kind to the people we live in one roof (like our family) is also sharing our loaves. More so, forgiving our selves from our past mistakes and sins is also sharing God’s living bread.
As humans, we have a diverse appetite and emptiness. Some of us crave for wealth, while others fame. We have a yearning for some things, people, and instances for ourselves and for the people we love. What loaf of bread do we need indeed? Who else can feed that hunger?
Each of us has unique struggles, and we couldn’t ascertain that the others are better than we or we are better from them. There are prayers we seek for months or years, and still, we consider unanswered. But, God discerns best what loaf of bread we need in our lives.
From all the miracles we received every day and every moment, may we also be God’s face in sharing what our brothers and sisters need in their struggles as well.
© 2020 Miel Reyes