Fourth Sunday in Lent
The Multiplication of the Loaves (Jn. 6.1-15)
Before that our Lord performed this miracle, He asked Philip, Whence shall we buy bread wherewith to feed these people? (Jn. 6.5) And the Evangelist observes, He said that to try Him, for He knew what He was about to do (Jn. 6.6). There is no difficulty in our lives for which God does not know the solution. From all eternity He has foreseen it and had the remedy for each case, no matter how complicated the situation may be. However, sometimes in difficult circumstances He seems to leave us alone as if the outcome were to depend on us, but He does this only to test us. He wants us to measure our strength against the difficulty – which makes us more aware of our weakness and insufficiency – and He wants us also to exercise our faith and our confidence in Him. The Lord never really abandons us unless we forsake Him first. He only hides Himself and covers His actions with a dark veil. This is the time to believe, to believe firmly, and to wait with humble patience and complete confidence.
The Apostles tell Jesus that a young boy has five loaves and two fishes, that is very little, in fact, nothing at all, for feeding five thousand men. But the Lord asks for this nothing and uses it to accomplish a great miracle. It is always thus: the all-powerful God, Who can do everything and create from nothing, when dealing with His free creatures, will not act without their help. Man can do but very little; yet God wants, asks for, and requires this little as condition of His intervention. Only the Lord can make us saints, as only He could multiply the small supplies of the young boy; still He asks for our help. Like the boy in the Gospel, we too must give Him everything in our power; we must offer Him each day our good resolutions, renewed faithfully and lovingly, and He will bring about a great miracle for us also, the miracle of our sanctification and of our perfection.