In Times of Scarcity: Trust and Be Generous

Dear Parishioner and Visitors,

   Scarcity of food can give rise to great social conflicts. This is because the lack of food can create a lot of uncertainty in anyone's life. Sometimes, scarcity of food is the result of the lack of resources due to natural causes such as the lack of rain. In other cases, the lack of food is a last minute situation in a given circumstance like that of the Gospel today where there were a lot of people but not enough food to feed them. Also, the lack of food can be the result of political and economic policies created by certain groups who are interested in manipulating the use and distribution of goods in the market. These are groups of people who keep accumulating wealth and trying to control the power of the nations. This need to control comes from the desire to accumulate even more and sometimes from the fear that there is not enough for everyone.

    In today's Gospel, we can see that Phillip was afraid there would not be enough food to feed the big crowd. Andrew was also afraid that whatever they had-five pieces of bread and two fish- would not be enough. Those were two valid and real fears. Nevertheless, given the situation, Jesus invites his disciples to trust him and to be generous. This was the real test for his disciples as it still is for us. By multiplying the bread and the fish, the little they had, Jesus invites them to fully rely on him. Jesus is the one who makes abundant the little we have.

    In the present time, many countries, like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others, are experiencing scarcity not only of food but also of dignity and justice. As Christians, like Jesus' disciples, we are called by him to trust that whatever little we have we must share it with those who are hungry. Jesus will make it abundant and satisfying. Only Jesus Christ, the Lord, can offer what no other person or institution can: safety in the midst of uncertainty, calm in the midst of storms, peace in the midst of war, and true freedom in the midst of confinement.

-Fr. Jorge Rative, O.P.