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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 23, 2021

Bishop’s Reflections

July 25, 2021

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 23, 2021

Who would think that a little boy with five barley loaves and two fish would save the day? However, if that child had not shared his bread and fish with Jesus, one wonders whether Jesus would have fed the multitudes in today’s Gospel.

In essence, this story is a test of the disciples’ placement of trust. Will they rely on their own abilities and resources or will they trust in the ability of Jesus?

You see, when Jesus asked his disciples to buy enough food for the crowd, Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” And, even though Andrew knew that the boy had some food in his pockets, he ends by saying, “But what good are these for so many?”

The disciples were still placing their trust in money to buy the required food — and they didn’t have enough of that. And they were placing their trust in human resources — the five barley loaves and two fish. Again, not enough.

So, Jesus takes what is offered. That is, Jesus takes all that the boy had and he makes it enough. Jesus multiplied what was given. Of course, if nothing was given, Jesus would have had nothing to multiply. I’m not saying that Jesus could not have created enough food out of nothing, but it seems to me that Jesus wants us to participate in his miracles. He asks for some bread, some fish, some faith, some offering from ourselves — and then he asks for trust.

Sometimes we think that what we have to give to the Lord is so small. But, perhaps, we are the only ones who have just what the Lord needs to perform his wonders.

I often thank God for that boy who offered Jesus all the food he was planning to eat — so God could make it enough for all. It is a good lesson for us who underestimate the great changes that can come about when we partner with God in faith.

Have a blessed week everyone.

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