Realizing All We Have

June 23, 2019

On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus we are invited to explore the questions Jesus has for us.  In the Gospel we hear of the incredible miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.  In this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes I often reflect on the movement of the disciples and how Jesus interacted with them.  In the Gospel of Luke, He takes the loaves and fishes, blesses them, breaks them and gives them to the disciples to distribute.  He invites them to participate.  I have spent hours reflecting on this part of the good news and how Jesus entrusted His disciples and how He entrusts us.  But as I have now been in the habit of doing lately, I begin to pray and reflect more on another aspect—the dialogue before the instruction.  It begins with this interchange: Jesus said to them “Give them some food yourselves.” They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”   In this dialogue the disciples are showing us that they were short sighted in everything they had.  While they look at the number of fish and bread, Jesus was asking something different.  When they say they will out source the food, we will go to other places and buy it, they were not understanding the Lord was asking them something completely different.  However, when they give all they had, they realized they not only had enough, they had an abundance of leftovers.  What Jesus is asking of all of us it to realize we have more than enough, and when we give totally from the heart, what is shared is inspiring and it invites others to do the same.  Everyone had their fill, we are all aware of this.  But where it comes from is a recognition that what we have is enough in God’s plan and in His eyes.

We often sell ourselves short.  We do not think we are enough or can measure up to what others need.  We have a flaw that evil loves to support in order to get us off track spiritually.  We think that our sins cannot be forgiven.  Other people can have their sins forgiven, but not us.  That is not true, confessed sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation are forgiven.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Sometimes we think God’s expectations are for perfection as the world sees it.  God heals the broken and searches after the lost sheep.  Sometimes we do not realize how strong our faith is.  We are embarrassed when someone compliments us about being holy or an inspiration.  We don’t realize all that we have.

As a parish on this Solemnity, we sometimes take for granted what takes place here.  Do we realize when we wake up on the weekend we are going to meet Jesus?  Do we realize on the way to church we are driving or walking to a place to meet Jesus?  Heaven will connect with earth in the divine Son of God entering bread and wine so we can receive the body and blood of Him who died and rose for us.  More important than sports tickets or theater performances, more important than openings of new movies, that which we are preparing for is to change our life.  Do we think about that as we corral the children or take our morning meds?  Do we enter the moment realizing what we have here?

The most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus is offered to us.  It is a gift of pure love and our response is AMEN.  Thanks be to God!  My prayer is that we realize all we have and know that it is enough in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.

Reverend  John J. Ouper