“This is my seventh mass this weekend and I never tire from hearing that gospel.” There was no denying the passion in Father’s voice as he began his homily about the multiplication of loaves and fish at Sunday’s noon-thirty mass. I was admittedly exhausted after a late night and a morning rehearsal, but Father spoke with such conviction that I sat a little straighter in my pew and made more of an effort to concentrate. Icy waves of air conditioning that crashed into me periodically also assisted my effort.
Of all the insights Father shared during his riveting homily, one resonated with me more than the others:
Christ offered the prayer over the loaves and the fish, but the miracle was manifested through the hands of his apostles.
As many times as I’ve heard that story throughout my life, that minute detail escaped me. Well it didn’t escape me entirely… I knew it was the apostles who presented Jesus the loaves and it was they who distributed the food and they gathered the leftovers, but it hadn’t dawned on me that the miracle was made manifest through them until Father mentioned it. This small revelation, reader, took my breath away. I was struck by the incredible humility of Christ as he allowed his apostles to be the faces of the miracle.
I was also impressed by the apostles’ faith. It would have been so easy for them to look at Christ and say “Are you kidding me? You want us to give this pitily amount of food to all these people? And what do you suppose is going to happen when we run out of food? We’ll be mauled by the hungry mob who didn’t get anything to eat, that’s what’ll happen! No thanks! We’d rather not get mauled today.” But they didn’t. They followed the instructions they had been given and were rewarded by being the hands of the miracle.
I thought of the many times God has moved my heart to do something random and a bit crazy. I sadly lean toward the hypothetical response, a realization that sent a chill down my spine (or was that the air conditioning…?). I suppose I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss all those wild ideas God
cursed er- blessed me with. After all, what’s more crazy than moving to NYC?!