Luke 9: 11–17
The apostles returned and reported on what they had done. Jesus took them away, off by themselves, near the town called Bethsaida. But the crowds got wind of it and followed. Jesus graciously welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God. Those who needed healing, he healed.
As the day declined, the Twelve said, “Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat. We’re out in the middle of nowhere.”
“You feed them,” Jesus said.
They said, “We couldn’t scrape up more than five loaves of bread and a couple of fish – unless, of course, you want us to go to town ourselves and buy food for everybody.” (There were more than five thousand people in the crowd.)
But he went ahead and directed his disciples, “Sit them down in groups of about fifty.” They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of left-overs were gathered up.
Mother Teresa said about Jesus, “He uses us to be his love and compassion in the world in spite of our weaknesses and frailties.” In this miracle Jesus does not produce food out of nowhere. He takes the little that the apostles have, and he multiplies it a thousand fold. No matter how little I think I have to give, once I freely place my gifts in Jesus’ service they become limitless.
In the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, I am reminded that Jesus can also provide spiritual sustenance beyond my imagining. There is a mysterious disproportion between what I give and what the Lord makes of it.