18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Simham)
FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSND
This is the only miracle that is found in all the four gospels. Jesus satisfying the hunger of five thousand people. Hunger. What can I say about it? You know which is the greatest killer of humanity? Its not cancer, or aids, or other diseases. It is hunger. Can you believe when I say ‘every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger.
The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed one-third is starving- Since you’ve entered this church at least 200 people have died of starvation. Over 4 million will die this year.
Friends, why I present such gloomy pictures is to show how bad the hunger is and how we need to react to it. Thank God many of you in this country are blessed by God not to feel the pinch of it. But the world at large is suffering and it needs a solution.
Look at the gospel. 5000 plus people are starving. Looking at that situation Jesus says ‘let us do something.’ But the disciples. They react in a different way. They immediately take out their calculators and say 5000 plus a small piece each, you need 200 Dinarie. They look at the statistical possibilities and impossibilities. Secondly, they say “ Don’t take risk. Send them away to go to the villages and buy food for themselves. They know that they are coming to a lonely place where there will be no food. They are suppose to bring their packed food. It is not our problem. Send them away”.
But Jesus says ‘you do something. Forget the statistics and forget abusing them.” Then comes the real solution for the problem. There was a boy who had five loaves and two fish. More than what he needed. He comes out and says “Here I have more than what I need, take it and do something.” There the miracle was possible. Many commentators say that this is a miracle of generosity. Some even go up to the extend of saying that what Jesus did was to make the people who had more than what was needed to share with others who didn’t have. When everything what was brought there was put together, there was more than what was needed for the 5000. 12 baskets full is left over.
This is the solution they offer for the world hunger. It is not that there is no sufficient food or wealth for the world. But it is in the hands of very few. If and only if those who have more than needed would be generous like the boy in the gospel and share, there would be no poverty or hunger.
There is some truth in what they say. Is it not? We don’t deny the power of Jesus to multiply the loaves, but we concentrate on the generosity of the little boy. If and only if that boy would have thought what difference will I make with the five loaves for this five thousand people, miracle would not have been possible. What triggered the miracle is the generosity of the boy. It is not how much you share but how you share that is important in life. Can you and me make difference in the world. That is enough!
Fr. Showreelu Simham