“Five Loaves and Two Fish of Life”

In the Gospel, Jesus said to His disciples, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”

Last month, I tested positive with Covid-19. I thought I was invincible! I thought I was already immune to this coronavirus because I am healthy and vaccinated. I was wrong! During those days, I felt overwhelmed, powerless, and hopeless. I did not know what to do. I was afraid, sad, exhausted, lonely and it seemed like I was in a deserted place. I had to isolate for two weeks and the feeling of having “only five loaves and two fish” stirred in me. I felt very limited and inadequate—limitedness arising from one’s isolation from the rest of the community and the incapacity to do more and the usual things that I do every day.

However, this experience also made me realize our dire need to come to Jesus and ask him to grant us what we truly need. In times like this, we need to trust that Jesus is supplying us with “the loaves and fish” that we need. I am thankful to the community that despite being locked down and feeling limited and inadequate, they actually never let me feel that way. In fact, through our Seminary Health Emergency Response Team (SHERT) who also put their health and lives on the line every day, I felt the community’s concern to reach out and ensure that we are managing well the symptoms. Their genuine care and service made all the difference for me. To this, I am forever grateful. With the community’s unceasing prayers and God’s grace, I survived Covid-19.

The Gospel ushers us to see bountiful blessings amidst limitations and inadequacy. We need to learn and see things in a new way. May we trust the good Lord always and find every opportunity to offer even our meager five loaves and two fish.

By: Sem. Nico Jay Z. del Mundo

Today’s Gospel

Matthew 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over–
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

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