Readings: Acts 5:34–42; Psalm 27:1, 4, 13–14; John 6:1–15.
Today’s readings remind us that if God wants something, he’ll be the one to do the heavy lifting; we just have to try to put everything we have into doing his will. In the First Reading Gamaliel wisely observes that if God is backing the Apostles the Sanhedrin will not be able to stop them. He doesn’t know for sure, but probably suspects the Lord has a hand in what is going on and has the prudence and wisdom to not try to put obstacles in God’s way.
Sometimes we receive a vague intuition that God wants something more from us, but we enter into that confusion of whether he wants it, whether we’re imagining it, or whether we might be trying to put words in his mouth. Something inside us says a change is called for, and many times it involves us being more generous and more trusting. That’s just one of the ways we can tell whether an idea comes from us or from God: if something moves us beyond our comfort zone, tries to take us beyond ourselves, often it is God inviting us to grow spiritually through working with him on something.
In the Gospel Our Lord asks a simple question: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Philip looks at thousands of people and does the math, and the math says they don’t have the money. Andrew sees the few resources at hand and says it seems impossible. Jesus asks them to not focus so much on the logistics and to simply try and the miracle happens. They didn’t have enough bread. They didn’t have enough money to buy more bread. But they didn’t factor in what Our Lord was bringing to the table: he asked for it, and he did the heavy lifting. Let’s ask ourselves today if Our Lord is asking something from us that seems impossible based on our mental math–overcoming something sinful in our life, doing something more for others, forgiving the seemingly unforgivable–and try to do his will with what we have knowing he will help us succeed.