Several points caught my attention as I prayed with the readings this morning. First of all, we are told that the disciples, “left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.” In a culture where honor and shame are constantly in competition, it is noteworthy that the disciples are beginning to see that true honor is bestowed by God and not by human beings.
Secondly, the words of Gamaliel reminded me that those things that are of human invention are all limited by our human nature. We are capable of only going so far before our human limitations begin to limit what we are able to do or to organize. However, if the project in which we engage comes from God, there are no limits.
This second point is brought home in the Gospel this morning. A poor boy with five barley loaves and two fish willingly share what little he has with a huge crowd. When everyone was satisfied, the apostles gathered up twelve baskets of fragments. The boy’s gift was finite and had a fixed number. There are no limits, however, to what God can do. This is the difference between what is of human origin and of that which is divine. God’s love and care for us is boundless.
The same can be said of our Eucharist. I can only break the host into so many pieces. There are only a finite number of wafers in the tabernacle. Yet when we receive the Eucharist this morning, if we are open to the gift that God bestows on us, the graces we receive through this simple meal are infinite. The Eucharist teaches us that when we offer what we have to God, God blesses it and brings forth great fruit from it, often exceeding our wildest expectations. What comes from God know no limits.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator