2 Kgs 4: 42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” So he repeated, “Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Gaining what we need in abundance

During the offertory at mass at a rural Jesuit parish in Assam, in northeast India, members of the congregation bring up the fruits of their fields: baskets of capsicum, brinjal, squash, and silver plates of rice. Saying that these subsistence farmers are “poor” does not even begin to describe the situation. Saying also they “trust God” does not begin to describe the situation either. They gave to the priest, the holy man, what they likely could not spare, and clearly trusted that nevertheless they would have enough to live on–even to live abundantly.

The magis is about doing “the more” for God, which can even mean trusting more. We trust, we give to God, we let the Father bring the increase.

Can we trust that in giving to God what we hold dear, we will not lose what we need but gain what we need in abundance?

—Br. Joe Hoover, SJ, is a writer, actor, and poetry editor at America: The Jesuit Review and also works with Crown Heights Mutual Aid. He is a Jesuit of the Midwest Province living in New York City.



God, help us let go of clinging to what we have, and trust that you will provide us more than we can ask for or imagine. Amen.

—Br. Joe Hoover, SJ