A large crowd has followed Jesus across the Sea of Galilee because of the signs he was performing. Out of compassion, Jesus asks his disciples how they are going to feed the crowd even though he already knows what He is going to do.
In every situation, Jesus always knows what he is going to do, but there are times when he will ask us what we are going to do when we are confronted with a challenge. Will we limit the possibilities of a solution to the resources at hand, perhaps believing it is hopeless?
By God’s design, there are many issues in life that will only reach their intended conclusion with his help. The intended conclusion may not always be what we had hoped for, but if we have brought it to God in prayer and perseverance and looked to the Church for direction and assistance, we will have made our best effort and with the help of God’s grace and we will find peace in the end. We have heard the Scripture, “…all things are possible with God.” That means in every circumstance it is possible to experience the peace and consolation of the Lord if we humbly seek it. No matter how bad we have it on our worst day, there will always be someone who has had it worse and yet was able to be a witness of the peace of Christ because of their faith.
We have an opportunity every day to expect some insight from God. We have heard people say they don’t want to bother God with the small things that are part of our life experiences. God is interested in everything we do. It is in the small things we become aware of the nearness of God and begin to develop a relationship with him that leads to profound trust in his providence. This it what it means to be childlike.
We see in the Gospel of John (6:1-15), that after having experienced the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the people pursued Jesus to make Him king so that He would continue to provide for their needs; and He flees from them. They have not understood the true meaning of the miracle, nor the role that Jesus had come to fulfill as Messiah. Like the vast crowd, we also can miss the role that Jesus wants to play in our lives.
Is Jesus the Lord of Your Life?
Many years ago, someone asked me if Jesus was the Lord of my life. At that time, I was a Sunday-only Catholic and didn’t give much thought to my relationship with God. However, that question began to haunt me, and I began to ask myself how important my faith was to me. That was the beginning of a conversion process that continues to bring me closer to God and helped me to discover my real purpose in life. Until that time I was searching for happiness not even considering that God might have a plan for me.
Choosing to draw close to God opened up new possibilities for me, and helped me to (at times), go beyond what I believed my limitations to be. By nature, I am an introvert who had a fear of speaking in public and yet God called me to do things I never would have chosen for myself. Of course, I have my struggles, but I am not so quick to decide that something is not possible until I have invested a good deal of time in prayer and consultation. God’s grace can work in the most unlikely instruments. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t allow my faith to influence my decisions.
Because of our baptism we all have a vocation from God that will allow us to reach our potential for happiness in this life and for all eternity. Jesus has made it possible for every one of us to discover that plan as we live our life every day in the heart of the Church through her liturgies, sacraments, parish activities and organizations, our commitment to daily prayer, and reading the lives of the saints so that we have a realistic understanding of how God works in the lives of those who love him. The saints discovered that lasting happiness can only be found in a faithful relationship with Jesus.
Searching For Happiness
Of course, it is possible not to discover the best plan for our happiness. Most people go through life searching, but not finding that which will bring the greatest joy and fulfillment. However, God has made us for himself and still loves and sustains everyone, even if he is not our priority and he continually gives us opportunities to turn to him. With God it is never too late, however, earlier is better because he helps us to avoid mistakes.
The most important thing Jesus did on earth after saving us from our sins was to establish his Church through which he continues to save humanity. The continuation of his Church depends on men and women recognizing that he has personally called them to the awesome responsibility of cooperating with him to save souls. Certainly, Jesus continues to call the men and women that are necessary for the life of the Church he founded, but somehow the message is often missed. Perhaps it is related to the loss of prayer in the home.
When children see their mothers and fathers praying together, they want to learn to pray themselves. When families pray together there is a great sense of security and peace even when there are trials. God makes himself known to those who pray with a humble contrite heart. Many priests have commented on the importance of how their parents prayed and lived their faith as a major factor in discovering their vocation.
The answer to the shortage of religious vocations is in every parish and every family. Do you pray together as a family? Do you encourage your children to think about a religious vocation? There was a time when families realized that the highest calling was to serve God and hoped that at least one of their children would answer that call. Would you like one of your children or grandchildren to answer God’s call? It may be as simple as asking them to think about it. That little seed may grow into something beautiful.
Hope Beyond the Miraculous Moment
Jesus multiplied the fish and the loaves not only to provide in a miraculous way for the needs of the crowd for that moment. He wants us to know that he can use whatever we have at hand towards a solution if we entrust it to him. That is how all things become possible with God.
Deacon Tom Fox, K.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.