Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Give Them Some Food Yourselves

I love this line from today's Gospel! When the disciples came to Jesus and asked them to dismiss the crowd since it was late and they did not have food, His response was "Give them some food yourselves" (Mark 6: 37). It is the response of the Supreme Delegator. There are so many times when people ask us to pray for them. So we do and then wait for a response. When we do not get the answer we expect, we tend to say the God did not answer my prayers. Instead, what happens most often is that God says to us "Do it yourself".

Our problem is that we do not have enough faith to believe that God will give us what we need to do it ourselves. The disciples showed us the way. Even though they knew that they did not have enough food themselves, they did as instructed and had the people sit down. When they took that "leap of faith" and began to distribute what they did have, they found that there was, indeed, enough. God made sure that they had whet they needed to do His will!
Today's Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a great example of one who did just that. A convert and widowed mother of five, Elizabeth saw a need for the education of children of the poor, and she did something about it! Elizabeth was able to establish a religious community in Emmitsburg, Maryland dedicated to the care of these children. It was the first religious community of non-cloistered Religious Sisters to be founded in the United States, and its school was the first free Catholic school in America.
Each day of our lives God gives us opportunities to make a difference. Perhaps none of us will do anything as grand as begin a religious congregation, or start a school, but the impact can be just a great on the people we meet. Whether it is helping a child learn to ride a bike, bringing soap and shampoo to a shelter, or holding the door for someone struggling with packages, we can become the means by which God answers their prayers. So the next time someone ask you to pray for something they need, consider whether or not God may be saying to you "Give them some food yourself!"

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