Recently I have been reflecting on the “multiplications of the loaves” passages in the Bible. This is the only miracle that Jesus performed which is recounted by all four Gospel writers. Often times when I have read it I have just thought how the situation was foreshadowing the Eucharist. But recently I have been reflecting on some of the dialogue which takes place in these scenes. In Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s version Jesus tells his disciples, “give them some food yourselves.” In Marks version he asks his disciples; “How many loaves have you?” And in John’s recounting of the story, Andrew asks, “There is a small boy here who has five loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” What do these words mean for us today?
In these passages I try to recognize the dialogue as my conversation with Jesus. His words, ordering me to “give them some food yourselves” comes across loud and clear. Of course, like Andrew, I want to say, I have so little, what value can my part be? Alone my gift is insignificant but with Jesus’ help it is over abundant. What I have received without cost I am called to share without cost. What do I have to offer this day, although it may seem so small and miniscule to me; my loaves of bread are what I have to share. How can I share my loaves in the places where it is most needed, especially in the mission regions of the United States?