July 26, 2015 — Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our Gospel reading from St. John relates the account of Jesus feeding the more than 5,000 gathered to be fed by the Word, little knowing that they would be fed in reality owing to one of the Lord’s best known miracles. This phenomenal narrative is reported in all four Gospels.
In many ways what Jesus did in this particular miracle is different from others He performed. He makes an effort to involve His Apostles by turning to them and appealing for assistance. Of course, there is some hesitance on the parts of Philip and Andrew who are cited as responding in somewhat negative ways. Jesus does not admonish them for their misgivings but goes ahead to accomplish what He set out to do.
Certainly the Apostles had witnessed previous incredible acts by the Lord, but yet they still hesitated to trust Him implicitly. How often do we do the same? Do we remember the many blessings we have received, and do we think of all the ways God has been with us in the past, or do we, like Philip and Andrew, doubt? Stewardship involves complete trust in God. This trust should be based as much on what has happened in our lives, as on our deep faith. Good stewards concentrate on the positive, not on the negative. When one focuses on blessings rather than challenges, miracles like this seem commonplace.