Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Jesus said this to test him"

The title of this post comes from today's gospel reading on Jesus' multiplication of the loaves and the feeding of the five thousand.  Seeing the massive crowd coming upon them Jesus looked at the Apostle Philip and asked, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"  And the very next thing we're told is how Jesus "said this to test him, because He Himself knew what he was going to do" (Jn.6:6).  Now Philip, like the vast majority of us, took stock of the situation and mumbled, "Over 200 days worth of my pay wouldn't be enough to give each of these people a mouth full!"

Jesus used the sight of the approaching crowd as an opportunity to draw out an expression of Philip's faith, and he uses a variety of intimidating circumstances in our lives to do the same thing.  Most of the time we respond like Philip.  What I want us to focus on is how Jesus already knew what he was going to do.  Philip was surprised by the predicament they found themselves in, but Jesus had already seen it coming and already knew how He was going to respond.  Philip had the opportunity, when Jesus asked the question to respond, "I don't know Lord, but You do.  How do You plan for us to feed them?  Tell me, and I'll do it."  

Next time we're caught off guard by a situation, and tempted to fear or despair, lets put the lesson from today's gospel into practice.  Recognize it as Jesus asking us a question, trying to draw out our trust in Him.  Lets answer Him directly in prayer, "Lord, I'm completely caught off guard, devastated by this; but You saw this moment coming long before I was ever born, and You know what I need to do to move forward.  Please show me, and I'll do it.  St. Philip, Blessed Mother, and all you angels and saints please ask Jesus to make his direction plain for me to see."  I'm not saying that the Lord is going to respond by multiplying loaves.  That was His answer to the situation on that particular day in Palestine.  But He does have an answer for you, even if it is to bestow the grace of martyrdom.  And His answer will build your faith and that of the crowd (family and friends) around you.


  1. Thanks for the excitement and passion that you have for the Word of God and His Faith. Thanks for this reflection which leads us to be more aware of God's will particularly when faced with a challenge. May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire you!

    Fr. Vincent Esprit FMI

  2. Fr. Vincent,
    Thank you for the encouragement; I sincerely appreciate it. Let me thank you for the way you give your life to the Lord in the service of His People day-in and day-out. May the Lord continue to give you all the strength you require! - Shane