A Small Act of Kindness

John 6: 1-15
Acts 5:34-42 / Psa 27

Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?
(John 6:9)

Don’t fret that what we have to offer
Is insignificant or too small,
Count the baskets of what’s left over,
And see ‘twas more than enough for all.

Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do. Philip answered Him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all enough to eat, He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself. (John 6:1-15)

Reflection

A small act of kindness from an innocent child, who willingly parted with his provision, without considering how far it would go for so many did indeed provide far more than the five thousand could consume. Nothing is too insignificant that it cannot be used for God’s purpose, just as nothing will be wasted in His plan of salvation. We are all fragments with different functions and diverse persuasions, but all of us are important in the eyes of God. Only those who choose not to be gathered with the Lord’s flock will be scattered and lost.

We may give so little of our time to the Lord, like going to His Holy Eucharist only on Sundays, but it may be enough to make us realize how precious that time is when we receive Him, both His Body and His Word. We have made it a daily habit to receive our Lord in our parish church’s noontime mass, if not early in the morning. Ever since we started giving more of our time to the Lord, we noticed that we are no longer pressured for time in other matters. The Maker of time Who multiplies bread can certainly also multiply time.

Like that little boy with five loaves and two fish, we shouldn’t worry that we have so little to offer in serving the Lord. We only need to surrender the little that we have to God, and trust that He will make it grow for the benefit of many. Numbers are only a human perception. In God’s vision, nothing is too small or too great for His loving consideration.

In the final days, our Lord will give that same instruction to His angels: “Gather all the fragments so that nothing will be wasted.” Only the faithless chaff will be left to be thrown into the fire. The faithful will be one in the banquet of the Lord in heaven.

Increase the fervor of Your people, Lord, to come together as regularly as they can to the banquet at Your table, that we may all be gathered as one. Amen.

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