My loaves and fishes

About a week ago I had a meeting with base community leaders in one of the sectors of the Dulce Nombre parish.

Since one base community meeting a month is devoted to an Ignatian contemplative reading/praying of a passage from scripture, I decided to use the loaves and fishes story in John 6: 1-11. I invited the people to sit in silence and use their imagination to put themselves in the event.

John’s version of this story is different from today’s Gospel from Matthew in one significant way. There is a young boy who has loaves and fish.

In the silence I put myself in the place of that kid. I had my five loaves and a few salted fish – and I was hungry.

Then I saw Andrew coming toward me. I knew what he wanted since I had heard him talking with Jesus about all the people without anything to eat.

I wanted to hide at least one loaf of bread to make sure that I had enough to eat. I could give Andrew the other four and the fish. But I wanted my loaf of bread.

But then I looked up and saw Jesus. He had such a look of compassion and love on his face, a look of deep concern for all the people.

And so I gave Andrew all I had.

And then something marvelous happened.

I don’t know how it happened, but everybody had enough to eat. Even I got enough and I’ve got a big appetite.

And then they began to collect the leftovers – twelve big baskets, full of bread.

And I had been a part of this.

Thanks, Jesus, that your love for me and for all the people opened my heart to give my all.

It’s so easy to try to hold on to my loaf of bread, looking to security in some little thing.

But when I share all of the little I have, Jesus can do great things with that.

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