St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish
The world is rich with many natural resources but there are many people in the world
looking for help to be feed. How can we be the source of reducing hunger and thirst, both
biologically and spiritually, in the world?
“Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’”
(Matthew 14: 16)
Jesus blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave
them to the crowds
Parents and grandparents provide for their families. Parents and grandparents feed their
families. At a point in time “when it was evening, the disciples came to [Jesus] and said,
‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may
go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’” ((Matthew 14: 15). To this Jesus
replied, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14: 16).
Feeding people with necessary things such as food, thought, advice, hope, faith, charity,
in short the virtues from God are privileges and opportunities we are endowed with. Jesus
did not want to lose the opportunity to feed the people with food. Jesus did not want to
lose the opportunity to feed the people with the word of God. Jesus did not want to lose
the opportunity to feed the people with compassion. Jesus was aware of the obstacles
affecting the good chances to feed people. For example, the death of John the Baptist was
an obstacle in his mission: “When Jesus heard that Herod had beheaded John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself” (Matthew 14: 13). So when the
crowd offered Jesus another opportunity to feed them, he readily accepted it with
compassion. Jesus nurtured this compassion in his disciples in two ways: by asking them
to feed the crowd and by giving them the broken bread to distribute to the crowd. Jesus
could have directly given the bread to the crowd but he nurtured in the disciples the
compassion to feed the crowds as parents and grandparents would do:
“When he went ashore, Jesus saw a great crowd;
and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said,
“This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late;
send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them,
“They need not go away;
you give them something to eat.”
“We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”
And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
Then Jesus ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish,
he looked up to heaven,
and blessed and broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
And all ate and were filled;
and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces,
twelve baskets full.
And those who ate were about five thousand men,
besides women and children. (Matthew 14: 14-21)
In the world, we still have many people to feed with virtues, compassion, food, charity,
and the word of God. How do we ensure that people are not turned away from the
compassion of God? How do we ensure that people are feed with the word and grace of
God inspite of many instances of obstacles and challenges? How do we ensure that
people who are thirsty and hungry look for Jesus in our lives to feed them? We are called
to feed and quench the thirst and hunger that loom around:
“The Lord says this:
‘Everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.’” (Isaiah 55.1-3)
We are the privileged opportunities that God put into the world to feed people with
“The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145.8-9, 15-16, 17-18)
As privileged people to help God to feed the world and to quench the thirst of people in
the world, nothing should make us desert the mission of God, nothing should separate us
from the mission of Christ:
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will hardship, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.35, 37-39)
Some people are turned away from the compassion of God because of intentional and
unintentional misdeeds of others. Many people are looking for an opportunity to be feed
either spiritually or biologically? How can we collaborate with God to feed the world?