Saturday, May 28, 2016

They All Ate and Were Satisfied

By Jan Rombouts (Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, [1]) [Public domain],
 via Wikimedia Commons

By Melanie Rigney

(Melchizedek) blessed Abram with these words: Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand.” (Genesis 14:19-20)

You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek. (Psalm 110:4b)

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, (Jesus) said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. (Luke 9:16-17)

We proclaim Your death, O Lord, and profess Your resurrection until You come again.

It was the first time I’d ever hosted a home Mass, and there were more people than we expected.

I’d been back at this Catholic thing for about a year and a half, and at the end of an eight-week session for those considering a similar return to the faith, I was privileged to host a home Mass for the dozen or so people who had attended the sessions.

Except we ended up with more like two dozen.

One woman brought her parents and two siblings, who were visiting from out of state. Someone else brought her husband and three children. Others brought friends or significant others. In any event, there were enough chairs and plenty of food. But I had forgotten to tell the celebrant.

He didn’t seem concerned, just looked at the group and said, “Nice crowd.”

I made sure I was first in line when Communion came and crossed my hands over my chest. Since he was also my confessor and I’d received the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation a few days before, he looked at me with a cocked eyebrow.

“I don’t think you’ve got enough,” I said in what I hoped was a whisper.

“We’re fine,” he said in a stage whisper.

“I don’t think so,” I hissed.

He stopped and laughed, and then said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Don’t worry. I’ve done this before.”

What else could I do but take a piece of host and pray he was right?

And of course, he was. There was exactly enough.

I think of that incident and the apostles at the miracle of the loaves and fishes. They could eyeball a crowd. They knew five loaves and two fishes couldn’t feed five thousand men, not to mention the women and children.

Except it did—with food to spare.

The incident taught me never to doubt an experienced priest when it comes to Holy Communion. I pray it also taught me never to doubt the Lord’s ability to satisfy our true needs… with food to spare.

Identify a situation where you’re not quite ready to let the Lord do His thing. Pray for the faith to have confidence that He’s got it covered. Pray for the faith to let go of the control you believe you have.

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