There are many things about our faith that seem to be not so practical or very difficult:
- We are told to forgive when it is easier to seek revenge
- We are told to trust God who we cannot see nor hear
- There are things we are told NOT to do even if we think it will make us happy
- We are told it is better to give than to receive.
Yesterday’s Gospel of the 5 loaves and 2 fish is one of the most well-known. There were five thousand men, not including the women and children. All counted, it would probably be safe to say that there were actually about 15,000 people. How do you feed these numbers? Even by today’s standards, that is very difficult. Yet, we hear of a miracle that started with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. From this Gospel reading, three things we learn about giving:
- There is no such thing as a “small amount” in giving, as long as you give from the heart. In the temple Jesus praised the widow because although she gave few coins, she gave from the heart and gave it all. In the Gospel, whomever gave the five bread and two fishes might have thought, “how can this little make an impact”?
- Gratitude. Everything comes from the Lord. Whatever we have comes from God, whether it be time, talent and treasure. That is why Jesus said they are blessings. This is to acknowledge God as the source of all blessings and to always give thanks. When people are thankful, they are content. When people are content, they will share.
- God’s Generosity. God cannot be outdone in generosity. Not only were 15,000 people fed, there was even excess food. Not enough, but more than enough – 12 wicker baskets full.
When we went on a lockdown in 2020, of course so many concerns came to mind when managing the Parish. There were bills to pay, salaries to fulfill and even construction to finish. Yet, at the same time, we had to reach out and share with the less fortunate. At this point, I could say that God cannot be outdone in generosity. How he is seeing us through in these difficult times, I can only testify because the parish continues to give.
Hence, when you feel that there is donor fatigue, remember:
- First, aside from money, you can share your time and talent
- Second, not that you expect it but every time you trust God and give, it will always come back – thirty fold, sixty fold and one hundred fold
- Third, if one asks, “how can God bless me in times of Pandemic”? The answer – how can he feed 15000 people with five loaves and 2 fishes?