“The people ate and were satisfied.” (Mark 8:8)
In today’s story, Jesus has compassion for a huge crowd of people again — and this time it’s simply because they are hungry! When the disciples raise the question of available resources, Jesus begins with a resource inventory. Seven loaves and a few small fish are way too few for feeding so many people. But what the disciples are not counting, of course, is the compassion of Jesus. What’s more, he only asks us to give what we have, and he will provide all that is needed. I often find that there’s a big gap between my available resources and the needs I hear about. Is that the case for you too?
In effect, the disciples have asked a particularly critical question: How can the needs of the world be met? They see the gap and do not yet see that the answer is standing right in front of them. This is a lesson I am forever learning. I tally up what I have, and it is not enough for all the needs around me. I do not have enough time, patience, hospitality, skills, wisdom, energy, finances — you name it. But Jesus doesn’t ask me if I have enough; he asks what I have — and in his hands he will make it enough.
What about you? I hope you know that Jesus will take and use what you have to extend holy compassion to others.
Dear Jesus, I can feel as if I never have enough for what you need. Help me to concentrate on you and your power instead of the gap I cannot fill. Guide me to give you what I have. Amen.