With all the problems we face in our world today, helping those in need sometimes seems an insurmountable task. There are natural disasters, people out of work and homeless – what does God expect us to do? As always, God expects us to do very best we can with the gifts He gives us.
Our issue is that we often look at a problem and say “I can’t solve that!” Solve it yourself? Not likely. But with God’s help, and by joining our brothers and sisters in Christ, all things are possible.
In the story from Matthew 14, there is a crowd of hungry people who have listened to Jesus teach all day. The disciples ask Him to send them away to buy food, but Jesus said “No, you give them something to eat” (Matt. 14:16) Like us, they probably shook their heads and said it was an impossible task. Jesus knew they couldn’t do it alone, but He wanted them to see that they were part of the solution, that part of the responsibility fell on them, not just divine intervention.
Thoughts and prayers have gotten bad press recently, sometimes deservedly so. We are called to think and pray and act! However, if I jumped in my car with just the clothes on my back and headed to California to help fight the fires, I certainly wouldn’t be very effective! Thinking and not acting is bad, but acting without thinking is no help either. God calls us to do both! As in the Gospel lesson, Jesus called on the disciples to look for a way to help and blessed their efforts.
Loving Lord, bless those who are suffering. Bless us to find ways to help and protect them. Let us all work together to save the last, the least and the lost. Amen.