YOU GIVE THEM TO EAT


The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.’ But he said to them, ‘You give them to eat.’” (Lk 9: 12-13)

In this well-known incident, the Lord does not say to the disciples, “I will give them to eat.” No, He says – you do it. “You give them to eat.” And of course the disciples are puzzled, because they have among them “no more than five loaves and two fish,” and the crowd was huge, “about five thousand men.” (Lk 9: 13-14) This continues to be puzzling today, that indeed our Lord chooses to nurture us, to offer us His “food,” through one another.

This is true both in the case of sacramental Communion, which I receive from the hand of a priest, and in other cases on a daily basis, when I learn and grow from the actions, service, and words of other people. It is also true that I, too, can be nurturing to others, when I do not resist His call, “You give them to eat,” despite the dearth of provisions in my here and now, “in a deserted place.”

Today let me go and partake of the Lord’s Bread, which He gives me by the hands of others. And let me be open to sharing His gifts. Because He calls all of us to be transfigured, from self-seekers and consumers, to self-givers and nurturers in Him, in our “deserted place.”

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