Come Away and Rest Awhile
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 25, 2021
2 Kgs 4:42-44
|Linda Surette, OP|
Give . . . they shall eat and have some left!
This is our call—to give, to share, to trust.
In the 2 Kings account, there is an adult with 20 barley loaves and fresh grain. In John 6, a youngster has five barley loaves and two fish. The crowds in the stories need food. Both Elisha and Jesus recognize the need of the people assembled before them, but to their assistants the small amounts available for the large crowds are useless. Elisha’s servant and Jesus’ apostle Philip are doubtful that the crowds can be satisfied. Nevertheless, each was told to give what was available. Amazingly, all ate their fill and there were leftovers. First there was great doubt. Then there was a surplus to collect.
Scripture invites us to give what we have even if we doubt our offering is sufficient or even useless. We need to trust in a positive outcome. We have been called to give. Paul reminds the Ephesians how to give the unique gifts each received from the Spirit. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Be loving and united in peace. This is the mindset needed for our giving and sharing with others.
In these Scripture accounts and in our lives, food for the body is not the only need. Yes, Elisha’s assembled prophets and Jesus’ crowd of followers are physically hungry, as we are at times. However, our spirits also need nourishment and support to ensure a healthy survival day after day.
What might we offer to another today, however insignificant or useless it may seem to us . . . a smile, an encouraging word, our attentive presence? Who might need support here and now even if they look able to take on the world? Yes, we are called to give, to share, to trust.
by Sister Linda Surette, OP