What We Have to Give is Enough

Corpus Christi Sunday
By Deacon Dick Kostner

Have you ever wished that you could do more or give more during your life? Sure you have because part of being human is the desire to always try to do more than what you think you are capable of doing. This is not bad for it makes us strive to accomplish more than what is possible in our present condition. The problem is that sometimes this is not possible it might be because of a disability that we have been burdened with. It could be physical, mental, financial. It might be because we see ourselves powerless because of circumstances that appear beyond our control. That is what the disciples of Jesus faced in our “Father’s Day” Gospel Jesus shares with us today.

The disciples face a dilemma in today’s Gospel. Jesus has been teaching a crowd of thousands of people and his friends have come to realize that they have no food to provide for the crowd and no resources to take care of that many people. They search for an answer and help from the crowd but find but a couple of fish and five loaves of bread. They are overwhelmed and they do what we would do and search for a miracle from their friend Jesus. After all he can walk on water and raise people up from the dead. He certainly can take over and solve this problem right?

Is that not what we all do when we are overwhelmed with our life problems? Sure, we pray for a miracle. We look to someone else to take over. Although Jesus could do just that after all He is God, but what does he do? Jesus does not take over but rather he tells his disciples to take care of it themselves. He puts them in charge. He does not allow them to slip out the back door and find someone else to solve the problem rather he empowers them to find a solution and shows them that he believes in them to solve this problem.

The disciples search for an answer and find but two fish and five loaves of bread, which they take to Jesus confessing that this is all they could find. Jesus takes what they have found, blesses the food, and tells the disciples to distribute what they have to the people. They do as he says and guess what, it not only feeds all the people but there is also food left over. Jesus shows them that all they need to do is to do the best they can and then have faith that God will provide them with enough support to solve any problems they may run into.

Let me share with you my true story of how this plays out. The Law School I attended in Chicago required a grade average a 82% or the student would go on probation. If one at any time would go on probation a second time you were expelled. There was one exam for each course for each semester. It was a timed exam and consisted of five or six essay questions which contained multiple issues and rules of law to apply. I always was running out of time and not completing in full all the questions and yes I went on probation the first semester. Pressure was on and I knew this was my last chance. Sweating this out a couple of semesters I made it without another probation until my final year. Just before my semester exam I said a prayer to God telling him I was doing my best but wondered if He really wanted me involved with this profession. The exam day drew near and a met with Bob, a friend of mine after one class to have a beer and forget about the exam day. I confessed to him that I had been on probation before and that I always seemed to run out of time before completing the questions to my satisfaction. He looked at me and said, “Dick, are you out-lining each question before you apply the law?” I looked at him puzzled and said, “I don’t have time to do this.” He laughed and said that I needed to do that first for each of the questions and then go into application of the law for the instructor would see that I had arrived at the issues and knew the law which was 90% of the grade. Well I took his advice and was one of twelve of our class of 200 who graduated.

Today we celebrate the gift God has given us in the Eucharist. His body and blood for us to consume and give us all that we need to find success and fulfillment in this world of problems. This gift requires only that we do the best we can in handling problems of life and then if we offer this up and ask the Father to bless it, that this will be enough! Today is Father’s Day and I know that dads want the best for their children but many times feel powerless in helping their children solve life problems. Jesus gives to us dads the solution. All that we need to do is to try to do the best we can and then offer it to God as a gift and guess what? This, and faith the size of a mustard seed, will be enough! Happy Father’s Day and remember what we have to give of ourselves is enough in God’s eyes!

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