I believe with all my heart. God has put in each of us a desire to do something meaningful. Do you understand what I mean? There are moments when we look at our life and deep down, say to ourselves: I want to do something meaningful in my life. Can you acknowledge that there is such a desire in your heart?
But we also have something else. It fights this great desire. We also have an awareness of our failures and imperfections. I tell myself I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not holy enough, not devoted enough, not brave enough; I’m too weak, too old (too young), my train has left the station, the problems of the world are too great. And we are fighting this voice, right? There is a struggle within us. We have a huge desire that says: I want my life to be meaningful. And another voice says: you cannot and will not do great things. I want to speak with you from the bottom of my heart and I want you to listen to me now with your mind and heart. Jesus Christ wants to use you and me, no matter how much or how little we think we have. I want you to see your own life in this miracle story.
Matthew 14; 13-21. Jesus just taught 5,000 people on the shores of Galilee. The disciples saw these crowds and found a logical solution: Send hungry people away, not our problem. Jesus says something that should have surprised the disciples: “You give them something to eat.” They now have to face the truth. They have too little. We never have enough. He will take what little we have and will perform a miracle – if we let Him. I also want you to understand that when Jesus asks us what we have, He knows that we have very little.
- We must acknowledge our limitations.
- Then give them to the Lord and ask Him to bless the little we have so that…
- We can then be used for His purposes. And for the goodness of others.
We must give the little we have to Jesus to bless and give to others. We must trust in Him for everything we have and what we are. I want you to notice something very important. Jesus didn’t ask what we don’t have. We see our shortcomings very well. I am not a great speaker. I am too old or too young. He doesn’t ask us about what we don’t have. He asks what we have. Okay, I have very little, and everything I have I give to you. Here’s the key.
We offer Him what little we have and trust Him completely. What does Jesus do with the little that is given to Him? He says a prayer of blessing. And he gives bread to his disciples. So what? Go and feed them. The disciples gave a small amount of bread. When you have no more bread, go to Jesus. And you will get more to give to others. What’s happening? Imagine yourself in the shoes of the disciples? There was a little bread and fish – and now they are feeding the first row, and the second row, and again they go to Jesus and He gives them more and more bread and fish. They no longer walk; they run to Him, they participate in some great act of faith, and through them, Jesus feeds people.
God has solutions that surpass our natural humanity. He has solutions to our human problems that exceed our natural human understanding. God can work miracles in our lives in our world. It is imperative to see that God can use us and build His Kingdom on earth through me.
We all know that this world is in an increasingly bad state: rampant secularism, moral relativism, a Church with many self-inflicted wounds. All of this has led to the real mess we have on our hands today. And the problems are overwhelming: sexual confusion, the culture of death, the breakdown of marriage, compulsive sin, compulsive overspending, greed, insensitivity to the poor, deep and widespread addiction to pornography, drugs, alcohol abuse, abortion, widespread promiscuity, adultery, corruption, cynicism, low Mass attendance. The problems seem overwhelming, and our resources seem so limited to turn back the tide. What will we ever do with only five loaves and two fish? In other words, what can I do? The conversion of the whole world begins with me. As I look at the huge problems before me and say here, Jesus blesses the little I have.
- I work on my own conversion. For a holier world has to start with me. If I get holier, the world gets holier.
- I look to the poor I can serve, maybe with money, perhaps with talents like tutoring and counseling, perhaps just with my time by listening.
- I pick up the phone and call a family member I know is hurting.
- I love my spouse and children.
- I spend the time to raise my children properly—to know the Lord and seek His kingdom.
- I exhort the weak in my family. And, with love, I rebuke sin and encourage righteousness.
- If I am a priest or religious, I live my vocation faithfully and heroically call others to Christ by teaching and proclaiming the Gospel without compromise.
- If I am a young person, I seek to prepare myself devoutly for a vocation to marriage or the priesthood or religious life.
- If I am older, I seek to manifest wisdom and a good example to the young.
- If I am elderly, I seek to prepare myself for death devoutly and to be a good example in this. I witness the desire for Heaven.
- I pray for this world and attend Mass faithfully, begging God’s mercy on this sin-soaked world.
It is too easy to simply lament this world’s condition and, like the apostles, feel overwhelmed. Jesus just says, bring me what you have, and let’s get started. The conversion of the whole world will begin with me, with my meager loaves and fish. And Jesus will surely multiply them; he will not fail. Today there is a person through whom, if he gives his life to Christ, God will change the world. The question is, am I this person? I have so little. I know we all have little; this is not a problem. The problem is to give what little we have to Jesus so that He can use and transform us and our families, and our homes, and our parishes, and our world.
I pray that you will say yes to Jesus and return to the Lord again and again.