Think about your day yesterday. Did you lead with your heart? Okay, I understand, that is a tough question. But, what would the day look like if we had led every decision, every action, every encounter only through the way our heart would respond?
The Gospel today is one in which many of us learned early on in Catholic formation. Who doesn’t remember learning about Jesus’ loaves and fishes at a young age? I am not sure if I was impressed by the miracle or equally impressed that Jesus was so generous he had “extras,” but this Gospel was easily absorbed by my young mind. When we teach this story to children they hang on to this miraculous miracle, almost in a superhero type of way. I remember thinking, “Wow, the magic,” when in my simple childish mind, I couldn’t really understand some of the deeper meanings of this Gospel.
Did you notice the invitation Jesus has for us? We are invited to cooperate with Him. Think about it this way, the disciples were pointing out there was not enough food and money to feed everyone. Without having to say it, I can assume the disciples’ natural inclination was to disperse the group and have everyone “fend for themselves!” However, that is not Jesus’ plan for us. He does not want us dispersed and fending for ourselves, rather to put our trust in Him and to take what little we have and offer it up, together.
Stewardship is a testament to leading with your heart. For example, the envelope was never made to be a collection device; it wasn’t made to just put the check in the magic canister and shoot it up over to the bank teller who then responds with a lollipop. It is a generous and trusting offering. It is a visible sign of our willingness to come to the altar with what little we have and to ask Jesus to multiply these blessings. It does not matter the amount, the type, the time, talent, or treasure sum we place before Him, whatever we have will be abundantly multiplied, large or small. A parish community can either be of the mindset that everyone fends for themselves (and we all get Root Beer flavored lollipops, ew!) or the mindset that when we act together we multiply blessings (yey, a multitude of flavors!) As you can tell, going to the bank as a child was quite an experience for me.
I like to teach Gracey, my daughter, about the saints. These incredibly ordinary people who have all started with what little they had and through making each decision, each sacrifice, and each encounter a response from their heart, their mission grew. When they were willing to give, Jesus multiplied their efforts. There was no movement, no community, no saint that didn’t start with a small amount of loaves and fishes and through living out the Gospel found that Jesus multiplied their ministry and blessings.
Let go and let God lead the way. Trust in Him, he will multiply our offerings if we are willing to cooperate and lead from the heart.
Katie Price is the Coordinator of Stewardship and Discipleship at the Cathedral. She can be reached at the Parish Offices 522-3342 or via email at [email protected].