Saturday of Week 5 in Ordinary Time
How many loaves have you?
When asked about how many books we have, how many dresses we have, how much money we make, we can confidently answer this question. But what about those unseen gifts that God has given us? What about the talents and charisms God gave us? Are we able to tell God what we have?
In the context of this reading, Jesus wanted to feed the people who followed him. I’m sure that if Jesus wanted to, he would know how many loaves of bread are available without him asking. But why did he still ask? Could it be because he wanted the disciples to be aware that they have something to offer and to contribute in feeding Jesus’ followers?
Likewise, I think Jesus is asking us how many ‘loaves’ do we have so he can use it to feed others. He wants us to be aware of what we can contribute to building up his Kingdom. Do we have the confidence to tell Jesus what our ‘loaves’ are? I’ve observed that many of us do not have the confidence to tell Jesus what we have to offer when He asks. It takes time for many of us to shed the false sense of humility.
Acknowledging the talents and the gifts we received from God is not bragging. In fact, with the right mindset, I think we can say that we are praising God by acknowledging the gifts he has bestowed upon us. It’s just like Mother Mary praying the Magnificat. God has blessed us so much that our souls should be magnifying God – our ‘own magnificats’. It is difficult to do that if we are uncomfortable acknowledging the talents he has given us.
Perhaps, the other reason why it is difficult for us to acknowledge our talents is because we fear failing. We fear society criticizing us for not being good enough, even though we said we could do something. Seven loaves was definitely not enough to feed those thousands of men, but where there was a lack, God filled it up with a miracle.
Many of us lament how much the Church is lacking in many aspects today, how much the Church’s response to some issues seem to fall short. But all of us have something we can do, and all of us have something God is calling us to do. And God has given us the means to do all these. Sadly, many of us are not doing anything at all. There are many reasons for this, but one of the common ones I hear is that they feel they have no talent to give to the service of the Church, which is definitely not true.
God is asking each of us how many loaves do we have. I think even if we tell God that, after a sincere look at ourselves, we only have breadcrumbs, God would still be able to feed thousands as long as we are willing to offer him what we have.
Brothers and sisters, how many loaves have you got?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me acknowledge the talents that you gave me so I can help build your Church.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with gifts, graces and talents.