During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish, as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Word of Hope
I love this story of the loaves and fish- meager portions that were shared amongst many, and then seven baskets full of broken pieces that were left over. It was one of Jesus’ miracles that the nuns frequently shared with us in grade school. How did Jesus do it? How did he make the bread and fish multiply to satisfy the hunger of the large crowd?
This makes me think of my childhood. We were not destitute, but times were tough for us. My mother was a stay-at-home mother taking care of her family of nine children when my father had a heart attack. Luckily, my mother had a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate, and was able to find work at an elementary school. My father died a couple of years later from another heart attack. We lived on my mother’s earnings and Social Security survivor’s benefits. There was always food on the table, but sometimes, I don’t know how she did it.
She would get home from school and pull something together for dinner from a handful of ingredients. To me, it was much like Jesus feeding the crowd with the loaves and fishes. I honestly cannot remember having a pantry, and don’t really remember where the food was stored, but I also don’t remember having any insecurities about where our food would come from. My mother would always make it appear. On this Single Working Women’s Day, let’s remember and thank all the single working women we know who work so hard to provide for their families.
Mother God, thank you for providing for us, for setting a table for us in the presence of our enemies. Thank you for comforting us during times of strife. From your example, may we learn how to care for others.
Cathedral of Hope member