Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today’s Gospel recounts one of Jesus’ most famous miracles, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. It is the beginning of what is called the “Bread of Life discourse”, in which Jesus reveals that He is the bread of life, that will be broken for all so that no one will ever hunger again. Jesus uses what is at hand, however inadequate, to feed the hungry.
At the time, the disciples were the flawed and inadequate tools Jesus would use to build His Church and spread the Good News. Today it is us, His followers, who, despite our own failings, are Jesus’ eyes and hands in the world. Many lessons to be found in a single miracle, but what strikes me the most today is the example of God’s abundance.
Jesus could have made the loaves and fishes be the perfect amount for the five thousand that were gathered, so that each person had exactly what they needed and there was no surplus. Instead, Jesus has the left overs taken up and the excess fills twelve baskets. Jesus is not just all that we need, Jesus is more than we need. As we deepen the practice of our faith, it can be easy to focus on the rules and the rubrics. We may lose sight of the fact that God’s mercy and God’s love is vaster than we can imagine. It is natural to anthropomorphize God, to assign to God our human ideas of capacity.
God’s laws exist to guide us towards a more perfect union with God, and to shape our interactions with one another. God’s laws do not constrain God, they give God the freedom to be God. They also clearly point us in God’s direction and offer us the freedom that God desires for us.
God’s prevailing aspect is mercy, and God’s guiding principle is love. It is an overwhelming tidal wave of mercy and love that can cover any situation we can imagine, and many we cannot. In creating such abundance in the miracle of the loaves and fishes Jesus is encouraging us to relax and trust in His providence. This week I invite you to join me in doing just that, and in giving thanks for God’s abundance.
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessing of good health, new hope and abundant peace.
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.