Seven loaves of bread and a few fish

That morning I was to preach on the Gospel of the Multiplication of the loaves. Now I didn’t feel like talking about the parallel between the multiplication of the loaves and the Eucharist yet. As I reread the Gospel, another clue emerged with the seven loaves.

We are in a desert place, far from any settlement. For three days a huge crowd has been following Jesus without eating. Jesus is moved by compassion. But how to feed all these people? The apostles have only seven loaves of bread. So Jesus asks them to bring them to him. The disciples comply. Jesus blesses the seven loaves and asks the apostles to distribute them. Not only do they feed the crowd, but they collect seven baskets of leftovers! Because they put their poverty at the service of Jesus, he was able to do wonders.

When we look at the world, we are overwhelmed by so many miseries and catastrophes: the pandemic, the threats of war, global warming, great poverty, displaced people, mistreated or abused children… So, we can be tempted by selfishness; it’s not my business, let the governments take care of it, I have my comfort. There is another temptation, discouragement.

But there is another possibility. It is to put our poverty, our indigence at the service of God and our brothers and sisters. Look at Brother André; no education, no health, no job. Yet, from the day he put his poverty, his indigence at the service of God, what good God did through him! One only has to look at the ex-votos between the columns of the votive chapel.

If all Christians would put their poverty, their indigence at the service of God and others, the face of the world would be changed.

Painting: Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov