“And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” Matthew 14:19 (Read Matt. 14:13-21)
What do you do when the situation seems hopeless? Certainly, the situation must have seemed hopeless for Jesus’ disciples; He had told them to feed the multitudes of people, and they only had five small loaves of bread and two fish with which to feed this crowd of over five thousand.
What did Jesus do? We read in Matthew 14:19 that “He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, broke, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
In St. John’s account of this same event, we read that “Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting down, and likewise of the fish, as much as they wished” (John 6:11).
Our Lord Jesus did not fret and worry over the tremendous shortage of food to feed this multitude. He simply trusted in His heavenly Father, gave thanks to Him for the food He had provided (John 6:11), blessed it, and distributed it to the people by means of His disciples.
And we know the results: “And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. And those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matt. 14:20-21).
“What a miracle!” we say. But here we see not only a great miracle of Jesus, our Savior; we see an example for us when the situation seems hopeless – when there is not enough food, money, clothes, etc. to meet our needs.
We could look at the insignificance of what we have compared to our apparent need and say as did the disciples of Jesus when they had only five barley loaves and two small fish: “But what are they among so many?” (John 6:9). Or, we could do as Jesus did, and give thanks and look to heaven and trust in our heavenly Father to supply us with all our needs (cf. Phil. 4:19; Jer. 32:17)!
In Philippians 4:6, we read: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” St. Paul also writes to the Thessalonians: “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:17-18).
The Bible also tells us: “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
God has already supplied our greatest need by sending His own dear Son to suffer and die for us sinners so that we might have forgiveness for all our sins and everlasting life with Him in heaven through faith in His name. Shall He not also, since He gave us His own Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from sin and eternal punishment, provide for all of our other needs of body and soul? We can trust in Him who so loved us that He spared not His own Son!
O dearest Jesus, grant to us a faith like Yours to trust in the loving hand of Your dear Father to provide us with all our needs of both body and soul. We call upon You for the sake of Your holy life and innocent sufferings and death in our stead. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the Revised Common Version of the Bible.]