Fr. Renato L. Ligeralde, CJM
God is good. He provides everything that we need. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ever since He created the world, He never abandon His children. He is faithful although His children are unfaithful.
Let us examine our readings today.
- Elisha (2nd King 4:42-44)
A man has twenty loaves of barley bread and fresh ears of grain (v 42)
Elisha said to his servant: “Give it to the people and let them eat.” (v 42)
Elisha’s servant said: “How can I set this before a hundred people?” (v 43)
Elisha repeated: “Give it to the people and let them eat.” (v 43)
The servant set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of God. (v44)
- Jesus (John 6:1-15)
A boy has five barley loaves and two fish (v 9)
Jesus said to Philip: “Where are we to buy bread for these people?” (v 5)
Philip said to Jesus: “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little. (v 7) Andrew said: “There is a boy here who has five loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” (vv 8-9)
Jesus said: “Make the people sit down.” (v 10)
So, the people sat down, about 5,000 in all. Jesus distributed the loaves and the fish to those who were seated. When they were satisfied the disciples gathered up the fragments of the five barley loaves and they filled twelve baskets. (vv 10-13)
We can see in the chart that both Jesus and Elisha fed a large number of people. Both had loaves of barley bread which, according to Elisha’s servant and Jesus’ disciples, could not be enough to feed the people. But both Jesus and Elisha insisted that the loaves be given and they were right. There were plenty of left over.
What is this for us? Through these stories we could say that God is a great provider. Since the Old Testament until the New Testament God never changed. He is the same God of Abraham, Jacob, Israel, Paul, Peter and Jesus. He is the God who gave manna in the desert and the same God who gave the bread of life and the chalice of salvation. God did not abandon His children. He is a God who does not punish, instead He forgives and gives life. Also, these stories of Elisha and Jesus show us that Jesus is more than a prophet.
God gives us abundant graces. We receive graces after graces. But, in receiving these graces, we are invited by this God to cooperate with Him. When Jesus told the people to sit down, they followed Him. Just like what Mary told the head servant in the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you. (Jn 2:50)” Cooperation to God’s grace is necessary. Grace will never be concretized in our life if we do not cooperate.
Therefore, we know that God is our provider of graces, but we have to do something to concretize that grace. We have to obey and cooperate with God. Jesus obeyed and cooperated with His Father, that is why He was able to fulfill what His Father had promised to the people.
So, we pray: Lord Jesus, we know that you are our savior who provide the bread of life and the chalice of salvation. Give us a heart that is humble enough to obey the Father’s commandments. Allow us to cooperate with you. Amen.