When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart
was moved with pity for them, for they were like
sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach
them many things. By now it was already late
and his disciples approached him and said, "This is a
deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss
them so that they can go to the surrounding
farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat."
He said to them in reply, "Give them some food
yourselves." But they said to him, "Are we to
buy two hundred days´ wages worth of food and give
it to them to eat?" He asked them, "How
many loaves do you have? Go and see." And
when they had found out they said, "Five loaves and
two fish." So he gave orders to have them
sit down in groups on the green grass. The
people took their places in rows by hundreds and by
fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two
fish and looking up to heaven, he said the
blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people; he also divided the
two fish among them all. They all ate and were
satisfied. And they picked up 12 wicker baskets full
of fragments and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were 5,000 men.
Introductory Prayer: Lord I am nothing without you in
my mission. I believe that there is no difficulty
in deepening my union with you that cannot be
overcome. I want to know and see with greater clarity
that your hand moves mine. You make possible what
would otherwise be impossible.
Petition: Lord, increase my confidence and
dependence on you.
1. “His Heart Was Moved with Pity for
Them, for They Were like Sheep Without a Shepherd.”
A heart that loves expands to meet the needs
of those it loves. None could love as perfectly as
Christ. Will I let Christ move me in this
prayer to see what he sees, suffer what he
suffers, and love what he loves? Who will teach the
vast numbers of those who are lost, especially the
young? Who will console the sorrowing who fight the
pervasive darkness of despair, and guide with fidelity the hungry
souls ready for the fullness of God’s truth? Who
can make present the power of the Shepherd to
heal and stay the force of evil in so many
dark corners of the world? If I open my
heart to see what Christ sees, I will follow everyday
what he asks of me to remedy a broken
world that needs salvation.
2. Give Them Some Food Yourselves: Our
Lord insists that we be active protagonists in tackling the
most difficult problems in the world. Many only sigh
at the world’s miseries as if to say, “Lord,
you have a problem. I will pray for them.” Christ
looks back and says to us, “This is your
mission now. I put it in your hands.” Will we
panic? Will we wonder where we will get the
time, the resources, the wisdom? Will we imagine ourselves
making it all happen? Our Lord asks us to take
responsibility, but he does not want us taking control.
There is a difference: One is the steward in
the mission—us; the other the owner—God. Taking responsibility means making
the needs of souls and the Church our own.
Not taking control means we never lose sight of
the one who controls the plan. I want to do
it his way, and not mine.
3. How Many Loaves
Do You Have? When Christ chooses us for a mission,
he does not select us because he thinks we
have what it takes, but rather because he knows he
will give us all that we need. Sometimes we
are faced with goals that are real, yet beyond our
power to accomplish. Anxiety––thinking we need to be superhuman
before a superhuman endeavor––inserts all sorts of complexes into
the human spirit: shutting down, feeling overwhelmed, uncontrolled anger,
unjustly limiting our field of action. What does Christ
ask when we face the impossible? Just give what we
have––give it all and don’t hold back. Put all
our loaves and fishes on the table, and then
Christ will work. Believe in the power of our poor
nothingness united to Christ.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, I believe in the power of my nothingness
united to your power and grace. Today I accept the
challenge of the mission before me, but only if
I take each step depending on you. With you
every burden is sweet, and every impossible task is a
new encounter with the power of your hand.
Resolution: I will stop sometime in the middle
of the day to spiritually place what I am
doing into Christ’s hands.