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Abundance... from Scraps
August 6, 2023, 6:00 AM

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus is able to feed us abundantly, even with scraps. He meets earthly needs by feeding the crowds and continues now to offer himself as holy meal, freely given to all, no matter their income or rank in society. Advertisers have trained us that what’s proclaimed as FREE usually isn’t. More often, it’s a ploy to get our money for some other, larger, purchase. Today we are invited to trust and receive Jesus’ free gift of love without mistrusting that he’s got up his sleeve some scheme to swindle our money.

It can be hard to relax and trust God to take care of us and nourish us with the mere scraps we often see around us. We panic and take matters into our own hands instead of trusting. We experience that crushing sense of responsibility, not just to ourselves, but to our children or parents or other loved ones to keep them fed and clothed and healthy. Trusting as the crowd did that day seems completely foreign to those of us living in North America, abundant in resources.

With food freely given, with quantity enough to feed only a few, Jesus makes this miracle, and there are leftovers to clean up. But for most of us, belief comes slowly and warily when we’ve been burned by experience: how will there be enough for all of us, when we’ve been the last one at the lunch line, the late arrival at the party, and everything’s gone? What if we see people in the crowd we don’t want fed and jostle our way to the head of the line to get first choice? Will it be fair? Trusting that our daily bread and even our very lives are in God’s hands is hard to do as we grow older and burdened by responsibility, but God has compassion for every member of the crowd, and we are blessed and invited to be joyful recipients of that generosity.