17th Sunday: Small is Big (John 6:1-15)

Today’s gospel reading helps us to remember that when we are in need, God
gives us what we need, but we should take an active part from our side.
When we do our part well, God will take care of the rest! Sometimes, God’s
way does not look the way we want it or the way we think it should be, but
God provides what we need!

Very often, we may say, *“I do not have enough money or talent or time to
make any difference.*” But we need to remember that the small boy in the
gospel story had only five loaves of bread and two fish. One thing is
sure: we all have something either big or small, at least one gift from the
Holy Spirit. It can be one “tiny fish.” Perhaps, *“our tiny fish”* is
not money, power, or anything else, but it is our talents or abilities or time
or our generous heart, that God has given to each of us. We all have
something. If we have never trusted God with our time, or our talents, or
our treasures, or with all our resources…this is the time to start
trusting in God!

Let me share with you a small story: There was a man taking a morning walk
at the beach. He saw that along with the morning tide came hundreds of
starfish and when the tide withdrew, they were left behind and with the
morning sun heat, they would die. The tide was fresh, and the starfish were
alive. The man took a few steps, picked one, and threw it into the water.
He did that repeatedly. Right behind him, there was another person who
couldn’t understand what this man was doing. He caught up with him and
asked, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How many can
you help? What difference does it make?” This man did not reply, he took
two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the water, and said,
“It makes a difference to this one.”

Let us ask ourselves- What difference are we making? Big or small, it does
not matter. If everyone made a small difference, we’d end up with a big
difference, wouldn’t we? Let us remember the words of St. Mother Teresa,
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But
the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Let us offer ourselves and whatever we have to God by saying, “Here is what
I have, God. Use it.” And God will bless it and increase it beyond our
expectations. When we give what we have to God, and we ask Him to bless
it, then the miracle happens. The most important thing we need, that is
our generosity and a good heart.

St. Mother Teresa’s life was a great example of giving everything with a
generous heart: Mother Teresa visited a poor Hindu family in Calcutta had
been starving for many days. Mother Teresa brought a bag of rice to the
family. Mother Teresa was surprised to see how the mother divided the rice
into two equal portions and went out and gave one bag to her Muslim
neighbor. When she returned, Mother Teresa asked her why she had done such
a generous deed. The woman replied: “My family can manage with half the
rice in this bag. My neighbor’s family has several children, and they are
also starving.”

For God, small is big! In the gospel, Jesus uses a small amount of
resources to make a big miracle. “You give them something to eat.”
*Jesus* takes the young boy’s small provisions and does something great with them.
It is important to observe that Jesus fed the people from nothing. Jesus started
with something that was already available. What Jesus did was made
possible because that little boy was willing to share what he had with

Jesus can make the impossible possible for us. This can happen only if we
allow ourselves to be a miracle. The miracle is not God working for us; it
is God working with us. Let us have joy in all we have, especially in our
families and friends. Let us come to God with “something small” and God
can make it plenty for us! Let us remember the words of St. Mother
Teresa, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

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