Living the Gospel – June 23, 2019

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The Little We Have is Enough

In our Gospel story today, Jesus was able to use the little food that the disciples had to feed a great number of his followers. The disciples were amazed. How often do we feel that what we have is not enough to share with others….that the needs are so great and we have so little. That we cannot do anything. At times like that we need to pray that God opens our eyes and hearts to realize that what he has given us is enough to share. This reminds me of a story I recently read.

Two boys walked down a road that led through a field. The younger of the two noticed a man toiling in the fields of his farm, his good clothes stacked neatly off to the side. The older of the two boys thought for a moment and said, “The man looks poor. See his clothes? Let’s hide a silver dollar in each shoe and then we’ll hide in these bushes and see how he reacts.”

The younger companion agreed to the plan and they placed a silver dollar in each shoe and hid behind the bushes. It wasn’t long before the farmer came in from the field, tired and worn. He reached down and pulled on a shoe, immediately feeling the money under his foot. With the coin now between his fingers, he looked around to see who could have put it in his shoe. But no one was there. He held the dollar in his hand and stared at it in disbelief. Confused, he slid his other foot into his other shoe and felt the second coin. This time, the man was overwhelmed when he removed the second silver dollar from his shoe.

Thinking he was alone, he dropped to his knees and offered a verbal prayer that the boys could easily hear from their hiding place. They heard the poor farmer cry tears of relief and gratitude. He spoke of his sick wife and his boys in need of food. He expressed gratitude for this unexpected bounty from unknown hands. After a time, the boys came out from their hiding place and slowly started their long walk home. They felt good inside, warm, changed somehow knowing the good they had done to a poor farmer in dire straits. A smile crept across their souls.

When I hear stories of kindness being done for others, I’m inspired to do the same. I think most of us are like that. We need each other’s example as we travel through life, trying to figure out what we are called to do. We have been given skills, time and money that might be small, but that is enough to share. Let’s encourage each other to share our experiences. We need to hear them. Not to impress, but to inspire. They help make us better people. What acts of kindness have you performed? What kindnesses by others have blessed your life?

Peg Orzel