Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?" Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
For the last two nights Steve and I have been taking a bread making class (rustic breads) at the Black Market Bakery here in Irvine. It has been a dream for Steve to do this, and I was happy to go along to learn as well. We worked as a team, and there were three other teams of people also learning at the Bakery under the keen eye of Baker Extraordinaire Rachel Klemek, owner of the Bakery.
As we were getting ready to leave, most of the members of the class were asking "what are we going to do with all this bread?" -- for we weren't the only ones baking all the bread -- the other groups came away with an equal amount of what they had made.
You know, I've always wondered about the story of the loaves and fishes. While I certainly believe that Jesus performed miracles, I've often wondered if the miracle that was REALLY performed that day was that, humbled by the words of Jesus and being in Jesus' presence, when he blessed the boy's bread and fish, those who had actually brought something and were hoarding it softened their hearts and offered it around, so that those who had none had some -- with leftovers!
Isn't it the same with the treasures that we hold close to us, our time/talent/treasure? We are called to share joyfully from our first fruits giving back to God a tithe of what we have been blessed with in our lives. We are never called to hoard, but to share.
By the time we reached home, 1/3 of our bread was already given to my good friend and neighbor. More will leave the house today.
I wonder what we will be making in the weeks ahead to be shared with others -- especially at the upcoming Laundry Love on August 8th? http://www.laundrylovehb.com/