Ordinary Time - Week 17b

Faithfulness in little things

(From Conversation with God, Fernandez Carvajal)

Along the shores of the Sea of Galilee people from the surrounding villages gathered to hear the Lord. While Jesus was speaking no one had given a thought to their weariness, to the hours they had been without food, to their lack of provisions and to the impossibility of procuring any. The people had become captivated by the words of the Lord. They had forgotten their hunger as well as their travel plans. Nevertheless, Jesus had the material needs of his audience in mind He took pity on those exhausted people who had been following him for a number of days. So, he worked the splendid miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

After everyone had eaten, Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to teach a lesson to his Apostles - and to us - about the importance of little things. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, 'Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost'. So they gathered up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. Jesus shows us his magnanimity in two ways: first by giving to the people as much as they wanted and secondly by making sure that no food was wasted. He educates by means of dramatic action as well as through insignificant detail.

The grandeur of the heart of Christ is revealed in both the large and small happenings of each day. The collecting of the left-oven is a way of showing us the value of little things done out of love for God - orderliness, cleanliness, finishing things completely. Christ spent the better part of thirty years immersed in ordinary, everyday life. While He occupied himself in a simple workshop, the Son of Man was engaged in the Redemption of humanity.

According to the Gospels, during the years of his public life Jesus remained in continual conversation with his heavenly Father. Yet Jesus was fully aware of what was going on all around him. Having brought the daughter of Jairus back to life, He asked that she be given something to eat. Right after performing the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus, He told the bewildered spectators: Unbind him, and let him go. Jesus sensed when it was time for his disciples to get some rest. He teaches us to treat human situations according to their proper importance. We have to sanctify our daily concerns. We cannot live in the clouds. We should be actively involved in the lives of others.