How can we be good stewards?
By Fr. Arnie Boehme, OCD
We want to do what Jesus asks us to do: sometimes, however, we wonder: what difference can we make when the needs are so great? Jesus taught his disciples to offer what they had, and God would make up for what was lacking.
An event in the life of Jesus illustrates this point.
A huge multitude had gathered to hear Jesus teach. Seeing them, Jesus asked the Apostle Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (John 6:5). John tells us that Jesus knew what he would do, but he asked Philip this question to test him. Philip responded by telling Jesus that a year’s salary wouldn’t be enough to give each of them even a little. Andrew, overhearing this points out a young child “who has five barley loaves and two fish,” but after calling attention to this, he wonders out loud, “What are they among so many?” (John 6:9).
Jesus then has the people sit down. He takes what the young child has to offer—the five loaves and two fish. He gives thanks to God, and then he has the disciples distribute the bread and fish to the multitude. The multitude eats until they are filled. Jesus has the disciples gather the fragments…and the Gospel tells us that they filled twelve baskets with what was left over!
The account of the multiplication of loaves and fish is profoundly Eucharistic. The priest stands in the person of Jesus and receives the gifts of bread and wine brought forward by the faithful. Just as Jesus did with gifts of the young child, Jesus takes what little we have to offer and changes it into something tremendously different. Just as the simple snack of children became a feast for the multitudes, so does the bread and wine placed upon the altar become for us the food and drink that truly satisfy the hungry heart, the Bread of Life and the Cup of Eternal Salvation.
Jesus can transform what we have to give, no matter how little, into more…
May mary be always our guide in deepening our own faith: so that we may also serve God and others with the purest of hearts, as we help the parish embarks on its six (6) point program. With Mary as our Patron let us:
- Deepen our Carmelite Spirituality with the Carmelite saints; also as models;
- From BEC's or neighborhood Christian communities and continue to be formed through these communities;
- Strengthen our Families as basic unit of spiritual growth and as agents of growth of Christians communities;
- Pray for our Youth that they may be instruments of evangelization especially to their fellow youth; our fellow parishioners so that we may all build a worshipping, witnessing and serving community.
Let us say as true devotees of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-- "O Mary thou art blessed amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."
From our community to yours, Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
Fr. Arnie had his second celebration at his home parish in Bird Island, Minnesota. Many relatives, town mates and classmates joined the thanksgiving mass and dinner reception. This was the day after the high school Class 1958 reunion.