This weekend we accompany our sister parish, Santa María Nebaj, in prayer as they remember their martyrs from the civil war. May they rest in peace and may God bless Guatemala with lasting peace.
This year our Sunday Gospel readings are from Mark, but starting today, for 5 weeks, we hear from chapter 6 of John’s Gospel about the Eucharist. The chapter begins with many people being fed with a few loaves and fish (which we hear today), moves through Jesus’ comments that he will give His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink, relates that many followers left Him because of these words, and ends with Peter’s declaration, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
One lesson for us from the multiplication of the loaves is that the Lord can do great and unimaginable things when we offer Him the little that we have, even though to us what we have to offer may seem insignificant. The little boy had 5 loaves and 2 fish; there were thousands and thousands of people. What difference could that paltry amount make? Yet the boy was willing to share and Jesus was able to use that small token to feed the multitude.
Sometimes the excuse we use to get ourselves off the hook of giving service is that we don’t have much to offer. But we do! Some of us might have leadership or technical skills to share. All of us have time, for example, time to volunteer in the office answering phones and greeting people, or time to bring communion to shut-ins and spend some time talking with them. We have the ability to do things, for example, help clean the church or keep the grounds beautiful. The more members share what has been given them, the more God has to work with in building up the Kingdom through our community at St. Pius.
Let us reflect on whether or not, in the context of our faith community, we are offering our 5 loaves and 2 fish so the Lord can do the unimaginable. Are we “consumers” or “contributors” to the community? On our website home page www.stpiusparish.org, there is a list of opportunities for involvement in our community. I invite you to review it and discern how you can use what God has given you to build up our community. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS