We have all we need; we just don’t realize it. In today’s gospel from Matthew 14, Jesus is approached by his disciples and they tell him to send the crowds away so that the people can go buy food for themselves. Jesus tells them that there is no need to send them away but that they should instead give them some food.
The disciples respond that the only have five loaves and two fish. That is all that they have. Jesus orders them to bring these to him. He asks the crowd to sit down on the grass and then he takes the loaves and fishes, looks up to heaven, says a blessing, breaks the loaves, and gives them to the disciples to distribute. All eat and are satisfied. In fact there is more than enough. Twelve full wicker baskets contain the leftover fragments that 5000 men, not counting the women and children, have eaten. It would seem that these fragments would also provide nourishment to the women and children present.
As we celebrated the feast of Saint Ignatius yesterday, I cannot help but think of the Suspice – that beautiful prayer of surrender. Take, Lord and receive, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all I have and possess. This is not an easy prayer to say. How willing are we to let everything go and place it lovingly in the hands of the Creator?
A week ago I had a CT scan that would reveal the latest truth about my health. In the middle of the first picture, I suddenly thought how absolutely ludicrous this process seemed. Hold your breath, the machine instructed while I mused, Aren’t we all holding our breath already? Scanxiety occurs for not only me but also all my loved ones. Am I ready to say take, Lord, receive in this instance? As is my custom before the scan, I usually implement a few prayer requests so that I am well surrounded by faithful people.
On this side of the results of the scan, I think I felt calm going into the medical appointment. The scan itself was a different story. After thinking how ridiculous the whole process seemed to me–really, how important is it that I find out I am closer to dying than I was three months ago?–I started to cry in the scanner. I know how stressful the appointments are to my loved ones. The lovely staff person brought me a tissue and asked if she might hug me. You’ve been through a lot in a short time, she said. She is correct. However that said, I believe that I have 12 wicker baskets full of goodness left over. I have more than enough. Even in that teary moment, God provided an angel to wipe away my tears and make me feel better. I am deeply grateful for all that I have. How about you?
Can you recall a moment when you had all that you needed?
How willing are you to let go and offer everything back to God?
Take, Lord, all that you need so that I may have enough. Enough is simply enough. May I be grateful for all that I have.