Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Todays gospel is aobut Jesus’s little helper.  He is carrying a bag on his back and there he has five loafs of bread and two fishes. Maybe we wants to sell them, maybe he is keeping them for somebody. He is walking along  the road beside the lake,  heading up the mountain,  to listen to a man who is preaching – Jesus.  There are a lot of people there, and after a while they get hungry and tired.  A man called Andrew, comes to our little boy, and asks him for his bread and fishes. We don’t know what the boy thought,  we don’t know what he said, but he gave the bread and fishes.  Jesus took them and began to share them with the hungry and tired people.  The boy was probably watching,  and he was amazed when he saw that even though Jesus was  giving bread to everybody,  there was always so much left over.  This is the miracle related in our gospel story today. This miracle looks forward to the great gift of the Eucharist,  when Jesus becomes food for us.  We don’t know the boy’s name and we will never hear about him again. For a moment this little boy was Christ’s little helper.  This little boy is you and this little boy is me. Jesus still needs helpers today.  Each one of us, can play a part in his work of redemption.  Even in the simplest things, even if we feel unimportant,  and our contribution insignificant. Each one of us can ask Jesus, ‘Jesus do you need my help today?’;  and he will always say yes.  We can always give Jesus our five loaves and two fishes.  He’ll know what to do with them. Tagore who was a Bengali poet and playwright, has a beautiful story about the King and the Poor man. This poor man would sit outside the palace of the king everyday begging. He had a small bag of wheat grains and every evening he would go back to his broken-down shack, and he would count the wheat grains he had. One day when he was outside the palace of the King, the gates opened and the king came out with all his cortege, and the king stopped right in front of the poor beggar man. The King approached the man put out his hand and asked him for something. The poor man was frightened, grabbed his bag and after a couple of minutes put his hand into his bag, took out a couple of wheat grains and gave them to the King. The king put them back into the bag, got into his chariot and went on his way. That evening as usual the poor man went to his shack and when he started to count his wheat grains, he noticed that some of them had turned into gold. He then realised that if he had handed all the grains to the king, all the wheat grains would have turned into gold. There are many opportunities in our everyday dealings with each other to practice generosity. Joy is one of the fruits of generosity. You rarely meet a generous person who is sad, and you will never meet a happy greedy person.