29 July 2018: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Multiplication of the Loaves – Five Loaves and Two Fish

Jn 6:1-15

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus Christ,

All of us are happy to witness miracles.  The Gospel reading of today teaches us that we can be part of small and big miracles in the lives of people, just like that little boy with five loaves and two fish.

How can we become part of miracles in the lives of people?  We need to do three things:

  1. Look at what you have, not at what you don’t have.  When faced with a difficult or challenging situation we look at what we don’t have.  When faced with the daunting task of providing food for five thousand people, Philip said, “Lord, we don’t have the money for it.”  Philip looked at what he lacked. The Little boy looked at what he had, “five loaves and two fish.” There is always something with us, even if we fail to see how that would be sufficient to meet the needs of others.

2. Give thanks to God for what you have:  When Jesus was presented with the five loaves and two fish, he took them and gave thanks to God.  When we thank God, we acknowledge our dependence on him, and proclaim our trust in him. With that trust, we do what is possible for us, leaving it to God to do the rest as and how he wants.


3. Help God to work the miracle


In the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish, the little boy helped Jesus to work the miracle.  Jesus worked the miracle, but the little boy made his contribution to the miracle.

Each one of us can help God to work miracles.  Recently I came across a true story about in the life of Raymond Zondo the Deputy chief justice of South Africa.  When he had finished his high school studies, he wanted to go to the University to study law.  But he had no money. His father had abandoned the family and his mother had lost her work. So, everyone expected Zondo to work and support the family.  But he wanted to study law. Then he approached a certain Suleman Bux, a wholesale shopkeeper and asked him for a loan to pay for his studies.  Mr Bux told him that he would help him, but he would not give any money. Instead, he would give a voucher and his mother could come with that voucher every month and collect the groceries she needed for the family, till Zondo finished his studies.  This arrangement went on for three years. When Zondo finished his studies, he met Mr. Bux, thanked him, and asked him what arrangements were to be made to repay him. Mr. Bux said, “Don’t’ worry. You needn’t repay me. Just do to others what I have done to you.”  And Mr. Zondo, to this day, in his own way tries to help others.

Mr. Bux helped God, so to say, to work a miracle for Zondo by giving groceries to his mother.  The Little Boy helped Jesus to work a miracle by giving the five loaves and two fish to Jesus. We, each one of us, can help God to work miracles in the lives of others, by giving the little we are able to give, to those around us.

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