Friends In Christ:
You know we never know on this journey of life how long someone will journey with us on our path. I met my pastor Fr. Nick just over two years ago when he and my family were just arriving at our new parish at the same time.
I was saddened to hear this past Sunday that Fr. Nick is being transferred. Recently a friend of mine who is in a grief ministrygave me a little card to share with a friend who had recently lost a spouse. The card read, “Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because it Happened!” While I am sad that my friend and pastor is leaving, I am smiling because of what he has left behind and the lasting impact he has made in my life.
Fr. Nick left a lasting imprint. He gave at least for me, the most impactful sermon I have ever heard. The message pierced my heart. It was nearly two years ago and it remains in my head as ifI just heard it yesterday.
Hissermon was about the importance of the little boy in the story. Most of us know the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes by heart, butdo you know who the little boy in the story is? Do you know his importance in the story?
John 6:9 In the story Andrew said to Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” The other three Gospels did not mention the boy so why is he important? He is important because he represents you and I in the story.
You see, it is God’s plan to work miracles in the lives of people by working them through other people. It is said in Cursillo “Christ has no hands and feet on earth but ours.”
Now let me expand the story a little. Imagine you are the parents of the little boy. Your family thought ahead and prepared well for the long day to go listen to the special new rabbi. Your family is sitting quietly among thousands of others who did not prepare like you did, they brought no food. About the time Jesus realizes the problem of the lack of food for everyone,your little boyshouts out “Rabbi, we have some food. Will this help you?” Then before you can stop him, he jumps up and takes your family’s basket of food to Jesus. You call out to him, “Son, come here. Sit down. That is OUR food. Let those other people fend for themselves!” It’s sad to say, but inthis situation, I could see myself saying that thing. Can you see yourself saying that?
Did Jesus need the boy? Did Jesus need the original loaves and fishes to feed everyone? Of course not! Jesus is God, the Creator of all that is. Jesus could have snapped his fingers and the entire crowd could have had Outback steaks, plates, forks, knives and napkins included. But that was not God’s plan. Jesus performed that miracle because someone, in this case the little boy, responded lovingly to his calling. And because of the little boy’s loving and unselfish act, thousands of people witnessed a miracle of Jesus. To this very day, we are blessed by the actions of the little boy by reading it in all of the Gospels.
Now this is where Fr. Nick pierced my heart with his sermon. Next he said, “I want you haunted for the rest of your life about the story of the little boy!”
He went on to explain that it truly is God’s plan to work miracles in this life through the actions and responses to those he calls. Jesus has called us! Fr. Nick’s next question was, “Is Jesus, this very day, planning on working a miracle in someone else’s life but heplans on working that miracle through us?”If we fail today to respond to that call, it will not be us who loses out! It will be someone else who fails to get the miracle Jesus had planned for them because we failed to say yes to his call.
Just like the little boy in the story, we must enthusiastically jump up and say yes to our Lord’s call. Today someone might receive a miracle from God if we just respond with an enthusiastic “Yes, Here I am Lord!”
Fr. Nick responded like the little boy. Through his sermon, Jesus worked a miracle in my life. I will never forget the words, “I want you haunted for the rest of your life about the story of the little boy.” I don’twant my lack of action to Jesus’ call to be the reason someone else loses out on a miracle. Just like the loaves and fishes fed thousands, I pray that by retelling Fr. Nick’s sermon, this message will feed the thousands who read it today.
I only had the chance to journey down life’s path for two years with Fr. Nick but his message will be with me for a lifetime. My friend and pastor leaves knowing that through him, we have all come to hear God’s message clearer.
- If we were the parents of the little boy and we had the only food in the crowd, would we have wanted our son to be quiet and not tell anyone of our food?
- Are we prepared to respond like the little boy and offer everything to our Lord in response to his call?
- Are we prepared today to allow Jesus to work a miracle in someone’s life through us or will someone lose out on a miracle today?