Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

Someone in the Passage Who is Often Ignored

The words "who is he?" is above a picture of small loaves of bread in a basket.
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
John 6:1-15 has to be a very important Gospel; a lesson that Jesus wants us to learn. My priest mentioned that this passage is in the Bible 6 times. SIX.TIMES. Not only that, but it is in all four of the Gospels. Everyone seems to focus on the miracle that Jesus performed but there is someone in the passage who is often ignored, or not given a lot of time. The boy. 

6 Places in the Gospels

Who is this boy? Where did he come from? Matthew 15:32-39 doesn't mention him in his relaying of the miracle. In fact, Matthew says the people were with Jesus for 3 days, there were 4000 people instead of 5000 (but what's another 1000 to our Lord?), and there were 7 loaves and 2 fish. Looking at the footnote, Matthew 14:13-21 says there are 5000 people (excluding women and children), 5 loaves and 2 fish. Mark 8:1-10 is on target with Matthew's account in Chapter 15; however, Mark 6:34-43 corroborates John's Gospel. The only difference is that the boy is left out.  Luke 10:2-17 mirrors Matthew 14:13-21 and Mark 8:1-10. Could they be 2 different events? Nowhere is the boy mentioned except in John.

He Gave All He Had

Why could that be? Should we take John's word over the other 3 that the boy provided the bread? He seems pretty accurate with his recount of the miracle; enough to include the boy. He must have thought the boy was important. Maybe the other 3 thought the boy would detract from the event. I never gave the boy another thought until the priest mentioned it during the Homily. It made perfect sense. Here is this boy who has some bread tucked in his pocket. He's just hanging around the apostles, most likely looking up to them and wanting to be like them. (This is probably why the other apostles didn't include him in their recounts: they probably didn't even notice him or thought he was in the way.) He hears them talking about not having anything to give the people to eat & he pipes up, shrugging his shoulders, thinking it insignificant. He offers them the mashed up bread in his pocket. Or, maybe he pulled Andrew to the side and told him he had 5 loaves and 2 fish. Either way, the main point is that he gave all he had.

All. Not a little bit, but everything, which is what God is calling us to do 24/7.  It took the little boy in this Gospel to place a subtle reminder in our heads. God can do all things, even turn 5 loaves into enough for 5000+.  In return, He asks for us to give Him our all.

Resisting the Urge to Take it Back

I come from a long line of worriers on my mother's side. I try so hard to give it all to Him and sometimes it's easier than others. The priest asked this question (not his exact words; I'm paraphrasing): If we're worrying, are we give Him enough? Are we giving Him our all? And if we aren't, what's holding us back? A few weeks ago he said that we say we trust in the Lord and we put things in His hands, but then we take it back. Isn't it so hard to place it in His hands and not be an "Indian-giver"?  Now that I've drawn your attention to it, will you look closer at someone in the passage who is often ignored?

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