The Gospel today which is about the feeding of the four thousand is a story of giving and receiving. Many are able to receive because there is someone who gives. Someone has loaves and a few fish and when those are given for God’s use, the power of God’s generosity and love can penetrate each man’s heart.
In my faith-life experiences, there are people who, in one way or another, have influenced me in their generosity of giving and loving. The influence of my parents and school teachers became fertile grounds for growing the seed of my vocation. The generosity of anonymous donors who helped me in my college education had led me to open myself to a bigger world of opportunities for growth. There were also priests whose life of pastoral charity had inspired me to become more generous in my offering to God.
In my vocation journey, I am guided by the words of Saint Mother Teresa who, for me, is a model of generosity in giving and loving. She said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one at a time, and always start with those nearest you.” As I progressed in my seminary formation, I learned to be generous by my example, by listening to others, by simply being present, and by gently offering whatever wisdom is in my power to give. In my own way of generous loving, I am reminded that God can never be outdone in His generosity. Still, I generously give because everything I have, I receive from Him.
In the Mass, the highest form of praise we can give to God, I am reminded of this kind of generosity of Jesus as both the offering and the offeror, whenever the priest would pray this preface: “For, although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift, since our praises add nothing to your greatness, but profit us for salvation.” Every time this is prayed, I am inspired and challenged to be a gift to others― to be one of the loaves and fishes for others.
By: Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,
Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes,
they will collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread
to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They replied, “Seven.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,
and gave them to his disciples to distribute,
and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them
and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people.
He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples
and came to the region of Dalmanutha.