Five barley loaves and two fish

“What good are these for so many?”
John 6: 9

 The account of the feeding of the multitudes is found in all four Gospels, though each has a little different slant on the account. In John’s Gospel, Philip notes that the amount of food needed would cost 200 days’ wages. But then Andrew notes the presence of a kid with 5 barley loaves – the bread of the poor – and two fish. But he adds, “What good are these for so many?”

In a world best by poverty, in the midst of increasing hunger here in Honduras, it’s easy to feel hopeless. There is so much suffering. What can one person do?

But what strikes me in John’s Gospel is that it’s a kid who comes forward with a little food.

Dorothy Day, a woman who witnessed poverty daily, once wrote in February 1940:

“What we do is very little. But it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did He fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the see fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest.
“And why must we see the results? Our work is to sow. Another generation will be reaping the harvest.”

Sure we must change the structures that keep people poor and hunger, but we do this while feeding our neighbors in need. That’s why I love to help out once a week at the diocese’s comedor de niños – a lunch program for kids – that provides a small meal for between 50 and 60 kids here in Santa Rosa de Copán Monday through Friday.

One response to “Five barley loaves and two fish

  1. Thanks John and thanks be to God. Just the encouragement I needed today.

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