In better discerning where we are meant to be and what we are being called to do, there is usually the internal assessment of those gifts we have to offer. Many times we might feel that we have nothing of value to bring, and thereby discount all that we have been given that God seeks to use. Yet there is courage found in recognizing that God perfects all that is lacking within and is more than ready to fit each of us for the task. Can we step forward today, and do as the small boy from the Gospels has done..can we offer our gifts from the heart?
Witness to the Miracle: Bringing Forth Our Gifts
In discussion of the Gospel Reading of the miracle of loaves and fish, I asked the children gathered at mass what should we do with the gifts that God has given us? What if what we have is thought to be little? Conversely, if we have acquired much, and have leftovers, what would we do with it? While, I thought that I was leading them to provide typical answers of the things that they would buy or do with the new wealth they, much like the boy in the Gospel, truly offered gifts of the heart.
The first little girl said, “I would give ten percent to the church”.
Another boy answered “I would seek to build shelter for the homeless”
Still another profoundly replied, “I would keep only very little, enough for my family to be able to live and eat”.
Oh, out of the mouths of babes! I had to smile, as I then asked, “Do you know that this is exactly what Jesus has entrusted us to do as followers, in caring for the needs of our community?”
As a church, and individually as disciples we need to ask ourselves if we are committed fully both to evangelization and service. This is a demanding call to imitate Christ’s love for humanity both in word and deed, in the tasks of “pastoral mission, communion and participation”. While Vatican II reemphasized these, it was Evangelii Nuntiandi that so clearly issued the challenge for us today as a Church. Here, the Christian ‘life of prayer, the Word, teaching, charity’, and “sharing of bread…only acquires its full meaning when it becomes a witness, when it evokes admiration and conversion, and when it becomes the preaching and proclamation of the Good News”. The contextual situations of poverty, oppression, homelessness, and disease particularly prevalent in the Third World do not allow them to adequately provide for themselves.
Today we too are to answer the directive posed to us by Christ. First, following the model of Christ, we are called to a greater awareness of the material and spiritual need of those within our local and global communities. In order to do so, requires that we are truly transformed by the gift, and a witness to our encounter with Christ present in the Eucharist. Then, bringing our gifts and resources with confidence, we offer them to God to be blessed, multiplied and shared, turning none away. Finally, we are reminded of our task as disciples to gather our surplus, to allocate it appropriately so that none is lost and that all are filled.
May God bless you in your gift of self, service, and love!
 Francis, Journey to Rio de Janeiro on the Occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day. July 28, 2013.
 Paul VI, Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi. “From Christ to the Church’s Evangelizing”. I (15)
 Manus, “John 6:1-15 and its Synoptic Parallels”, 69.