August 3, 2014 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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I remember one time on a youth retreat giving the teens an almost impossible task to accomplish and told them they could do or use anything necessary to finish the project. They worked for almost an hour only to be frustrated in the end because they had accomplished so little. When I asked what they could have done differently, they blamed the time limit, each other, the materials, etc. Finally I said to them, “You know what’s interesting? You never thought to ask me for MY help. Yet, I was the only one who knew how to do what I was asking of you.” Did you ever notice that when God asks us to do something, we often make the assumption that we have to accomplish it with our own power, gifts and efforts?

Look at today’s Gospel. Jesus wanted the Apostles to feed the crowd; all they saw was too little food and too many people. But when they offered what they had to Jesus, HIS power was able to multiple the food and feed the vast crowd! But how often do we look at the smallness of our gifts and abilities or the impossibility of the task before us? How often do we allow Satan to prevent us from doing God’s work because we forget that not only have all of our gifts been giving to us by God, but that He wants to accomplish great things in us and through us!

Finally, so often we compare ourselves with others. We look at the gifts and talents they have and can feel inadequate. Some people have big gifts that are seen by many and some have big gifts that are seen by few. And many of us have little gifts that are seen only by God when we do them in secret. But no matter how small or insignificant we think our gifts or talents might be, today’s Gospel shows us that when we give them to Jesus, He will multiple them and use them to do mighty deeds! God still wants to perform miracles in our world, will you allow Him to do so through you?

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