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Friday of the Second Week of Easter

My dear encountered couples:

“What can little ol’ me do to help solve the problems of the world?” That is something we might all wonder when we realize the many problems that exist in today’s world. In our own homes many of us have problems that are more than we can handle. How could we ever expect to be of much help to anybody else?

That is what that little boy in today fish story probably thought. There he was, on his way home. He had caught, or bought a couple of fish, purchased some loaves of bread, and was on his way home to enjoy with his mom and dad a fish sandwich or two. But when Jesus had suggested to his apostles that they feed these five thousand people who were following them, they happened to see this boy, checked out what he had, and then told Jesus, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and a couple of dried fish, but what good is that for so many?” Jesus showed them.

With those two fish and the five barley loaves Jesus showed them what could be done with them. The 5000 were fed and there were plenty of leftovers for that boy to take home to his family. Though we have been reminded of this often, we seem to forget. No matter how little we have to offer the world in the solving of its problems, our little bit can go a long way when we do it out of love for God. The things we try to do out of love and because we believe they are the will of God will be multiplied like that boy’s fish and loaves of bread.

The viral pandemic sweeping the world has changed our behaviors, some for the good and some for the not so good. Maybe we are using our extra time at home to be more prayerful and learning to appreciate the simpler things in life. But what about our willingness to continue to share with others in need? Have we asked our housebound neighbors if they need anything (heaven forbid they are down to their last roll), and save them a trip to the grocery store? What about supporting our church? Has not being able to attend services relieved us of the need to make gifts? Or the homeless. The needs of this community have skyrocketed, but are we no longer willing to “take the appropriate precautions” and volunteer to help serve meals at the shelter?

During this extraordinary time in which we are living, let us practice being extraordinary Christians and give of our time, talent and treasure without counting the costs.

“What can I do to solve the world’s problems?” you ask. You’d be surprised, just like the apostles were surprised, when that little boy offered his armful of groceries to feed five thousand people.

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