Reading I: Isaiah 55:1-3
Reading II: Romans 8:35, 37-39
GOSPEL: Matthew 14:13-21

Don’t Settle for a Fishwich!

Most everyone has heard the story of the loaves and fishes. It is one of those tales with which even non-Christians have become familiar. Jesus fed five-thousand people with seven loaves and two fish – definitely a miracle worth noting.

Yet people often miss an earlier part of the story. We tend to gloss over the lead-in and focus on the fact that there was enough food for everyone. Though this was obviously an important miracle, maybe we should back up just a little bit in order to get the full effect.

Challenging Answer: Give Them Yours

In the beginning of the Gospel reading, Jesus is grieving over the death of John the Baptist. Yet even in the midst of his grief, he does not turn away the crowd of people who come to him for help and healing. Jesus puts his own needs aside in order to serve others.

When the disciples come to Jesus, suggesting that he disperse the crowd so they can go buy themselves food, Jesus’ initial response is to challenge his disciples. Jesus does not say, “Hold on a minute. Let me whip up a little feast for them.” Instead he says, “…give them some food yourselves.”

Jesus challenged his disciples to sacrifice all they had in an apparently vain attempt to feed the multitudes gathered there. He told them what to do, and then waited for them to trust in him. Jesus took what little they had, sanctified it, and the result was enough to feed five-thousand, with plenty of food to spare.

Loaves and Fishes Today

Especially during these troubled times, we are being called to feed the masses. The numbers, however, are much greater than 5,000. Jesus is calling us to feed the entire world.

The Lord is also calling us to feed the world spiritually. People everywhere are hungry for what Jesus has to offer – but we need to step up. We need to bring what little we have and allow Christ to sanctify it. When we place our trust in Him this way, He will take what we have given and make it into more than enough. Like the disciples, we must bring what we have and place it in Jesus’ care.

In Christ, All Things Are Possible

In the United States and other technologically advanced countries, we often hear people say that the world is at our fingertips. Information is so readily available that it’s easy to keep current on situations occurring all over the globe.

Yet at some level, this doesn’t make the world feel any smaller. In fact, with bad news being so easily accessible, it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed. The world is such a huge place with such diversity in culture, lifestyle, and basic beliefs, that we may want to just sit back and say, “What can I possibly do?”

Well, maybe it’s time to forget the little pep talks about every little bit making a difference. Perhaps we are wrong to think that we’ll just change our little corner of the world and make it better. When we start believing these things, what we are saying is, “Lord, I’m going to take my loaf and my fish and I’m going to make a few fishwiches for the people around me.”

What if Jesus has something more in mind? What if He wants to take our loaves and our fishes and multiply them beyond our imaginations? What if he wants to use us to do miraculous things in the world? Are we going to tell him ‘no’? Or are we going to stop relying so much on ourselves and leave the miracles up to Jesus? Somehow, I don’t think the Lord wants us to settle for a fishwich.

Life Applications:

When was a time that you felt Christ was challenging you?
Do you truly believe that, in Christ, all things are possible? How do you show it?
What loaves and fishes do you have that you could place before the Lord?

Original article by Brandon Jubar, 2002 – 2020.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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