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Don’t wait

In today’s Gospel reading we find Jesus feeding the five thousand with five barley loaves and two fishes.  This is, of course, an image of the Eucharist as well as a sign of both the generosity and power of the God who keeps everything in being and provides for their every need.  But after reading Jennifer Fullwiler’s post on being too busy another aspect to this reading struck me as I listened this morning.

Jesus asks Philip to feed the crowd that has gathered.  Philip responds, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” Philip makes a very correct, very astute quick analysis of the situation – logistically it would be impossible to feed all these people with what they have available to them. Philip didn’t want to get started feeding all these people only to run out part of the way through, which was a wise precaution – except for when you’re dealing with God.

Andrew, instead of worrying about what can’t be done and what they don’t have simply brings Jesus what he can find.  Five barley loaves and two fishes might feed a small family but certainly not a crowd even close to this size – most people wouldn’t even bother Jesus with such a pittance because it’s obviously not enough.  What’s obvious when it’s just you and me though is hardly obvious when placed in the hands of Jesus.  He takes this entirely insufficient amount of resources and provides a miracle so amazing the people were ready to carry Him off and make Him their king – not only were all these thousands fed but they were able to collect twelve wicker baskets full of leftovers.

I don’t know about you, but I found myself realizing this morning that I am quite firmly a Philip.  So often I find myself saying, “no, not yet, I’m not ready, I don’t have what I need, it’s not the right time.”  Instead of trusting in God I find myself waiting until I have everything lined up and all the contingencies covered before I even get started.  But as we all know, in life you can never cover all the contingencies – there are just too many things that can happen to ever really get them all covered, so almost invariably I don’t even get started.  Today we are reminded that we are called to bring what we have, get out there and, as they say, git ‘er done.  Bring faith, bring whatever talents we have, put it before the Lord and then trust Him to break that bread knowing that if we operate in trust and let Him do what only He can what little we bring will be more than we ever thought and indeed at the end there will be some left over.

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