Julie Ranier
ND Parent

“May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and for the good of all his holy church.” The assembly prays this prayer at every Mass as the priest offers the gifts that will become the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharistic meal. When I pray this, I sometimes think of this gospel passage about the multiplication of the loaves and fish. The disciples do not know how they can feed the crowd. They do not imagine that anything they can gather and offer will be sufficient to the great need of the occasion before them. But Jesus simply takes what they do have and makes it surpass the needs of the crowd.

The same thing happens every time we gather for the Eucharist. No matter what we offer to God (individually or collectively), it can never fulfill the great spiritual hunger that exists inside of us. Only God can satisfy that hunger. And yet God asks us to make our own offering so that he can work from those gifts instead of creating a solution out of nothing. Just like the disciples gathered five loaves and two fish, we bring to God the offering of our own lives, our prayers, and a small offering of bread and wine at each Mass. I am amazed every time when we receive back from that meager offering nothing less than the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist! In the gospel today, Jesus “looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves…” just as we witness in each Mass.

This reading reminds me that I should not be discouraged when I have very little to offer God on any particular day. I am tempted to think that I only should come to God in prayer once I have an acceptable offering, either in my spiritual disposition or in the faithful things I have accomplished in my life. But this is not so. Whatever I have, I should bring before the Lord. God will multiple those offerings, feeding me and perhaps a multitude of others as well.