When you give God what you DO have, He can deal with it. He can make it work. He can multiply our finite resources — with His infinite power.


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“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”

This passage from today’s reading tells us who God is and what God has done for us – in just two and a half verses. It is most – perhaps all –  that we need to know “so that we might have life through Him”.

God is love – a love given to us not in response to our virtue, but as an expression of who God is.

We have to understand that the word we translate into English as “love” might be better rendered “self-giving” (not “affection”). Read the passage again, substituting “self-giving”, and let your breath be taken away by the boldness and incredibility of what it says. It can’t be so. Words utterly fail us as we try to express and grasp this seemingly impossible reality.

God is self-giving – not just as an abstract concept, but as the very concrete taking on of our fleshly humanity with all of its too evident limits, suffering all we suffer and more, and by conquering evil, allowing us to share God’s own self-giving. We didn’t earn it; we couldn’t. We didn’t have to. We’re not worthy; that’s OK; we don’t have to be. My sins are too great; God could never love me. Yes God could. God does; God gives; God fore-gives, gives Godself.

How then could we not do likewise? God gives us that power. Being selfless is not just a test we have to pass to enter the kingdom. It is exactly what the life of the kingdom is and will always be.

Then a sense of abundance comes through the story of the loaves and fishes in today’s Gospel. Twelve baskets were filled with the scraps after the five thousand were satisfied. Does this suggest the generosity of God? Can we assume that our earth contains more than we need? Surely we should not selfishly hoard the earth’s resources but rather share them generously, ensuring they are distributed among all God’s people and trusting there will be sufficient for all.

Jesus is training his apostles in this gospel.. He’s just told them to feed thousands of people! But His apostles know they don’t have enough bread. So, what to do? Go out and buy some? That’s human logic. That level they understand. But Jesus is operating on a higher plane — and He wants them to join Him there. So He says patiently, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

It’s a question He could ask us today, if we’re in an impossible situation — and we know we don’t have enough of what’s needed. Jesus patiently asks us, “What resources DO you have?”

So we need to obey Him, to “go and see,” and then report back to the One who can make it happen. What we have may not seem like much. But even five loaves and two little fishes can be enough, when they’re in the hands of Jesus.

When you give Him what you DO have, He can deal with it. He can make it work. He can multiply our finite resources — with His infinite power.

You don’t believe it? Just look at what He did with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish! He’s the same Jesus today. He’s still got the power. We just need faith.

This is the Year of Faith. So, if you don’t have enough faith, go and ask Him for it! He wants to give you more faith!

Whatever you’re facing right now, even if it looks impossible, take a moment to “go and see.” What DO you have? Then, take it and hand it over to Jesus. In His hands, miracles still happen.

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