By Pauline Samuel
In the gospel of Matthew, chapter fourteen, Jesus had heard that his cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded and he withdrew to a deserted place to be alone. But a large crowd, who also heard the sad news, had followed him. He had compassion for this large crowd. He put aside his own grief and pain and healed and cured their various sicknesses. He took the time to minister to their pain. The hour was late and his disciples urged him to send the people on their way so they could feed themselves. However, Jesus saw this as yet another opportunity to be compassionate. He didn’t turn them away as his disciples were quick to do. (How often do we turn a blind eye to those in need?) He instead told his disciples to feed the people.
The disciples brought him five loaves and two fish and Jesus fed 5,000 men and countless women and children. That does sound miraculous that that many people ate and were filled on such a small amount of food! The miracle is not necessarily the amount of people that were fed, but rather who was called to feed them.
Time and time again we are faced with situations where God is calling us to have compassion and help those in need, to “feed the people”. Like the disciples, many of us respond by telling God how limited our resources are. God knows what we have and what we don’t have. Our job isn’t to present to God our list of limitations. Our job is to simply trust; trust that God will take what we do have and use it and multiply it.
Every day we are confronted with human need and challenges and that means that every day is an opportunity for a miracle. That miracle could be praying for someone in pain, feeding a homeless person, starting a food pantry, volunteering at a shelter, visiting the sick or shut-in, etc. Don’t think that God cannot use your “limited” resources. God’s hands are your hands, his feet your feet. You are well equipped! Be aware, be compassionate and remember you are a miracle waiting to happen.
Pauline's Ministry Placement is as a Ministry Resident at St. Mark's Church.