The Gospel reading for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time reminds me of what we 13 kids often heard our Dad say to Mom. “Leona, don’t worry, God will provide.” Mom would then respond, “I know, Bill,” but she sometimes still had a bit of a worried look on her face. This trust in God was instilled in us when we were quite young. We did not understand it completely, but it is funny, as we grew into adulthood and faced the challenges of life, we found Dad’s words echoing in our minds, “Don’t worry, God will provide.”
God does and will provide. As Saint Padre Pio reminds us, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” God calls upon each of us to use our God-given gifts and talents to provide for ourselves and others. For example, the followers of Jesus in today’s Gospel became hungry. Jesus recognized the crowd’s need and asked Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” In today’s language, Philip may have replied, “Come on, Jesus, you’ve got to be kidding me. Feed all these people, with what? I don’t have that kind of money; none of us do.” But then Andrew chimes in. Knowing and believing that Jesus can do the impossible, Andrew notices a little boy with barley loaves and fish, and you know the rest of the story. The point is that Jesus makes use of what we surrender to Him and makes the impossible possible.
Think back for a moment when you have really prayed for God’s intercession and God answered your prayer. His response to our prayers may not be exactly as we hoped, or not according to our timeline, but then we must face the truth that He is God, and we are not. Trust and surrender to God are not for the faint-of-heart. Saint Paul urges us today to live our vocation in life to the utmost with “humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love” – all leading to unity with God and one another. Jesus, our Bread of Life, provides us with the nourishment we need for the journey of life. Let us then surrender all to our loving, compassionate, and merciful Lord, and trust that He will and does provide.
God’s blessings to you and your loved ones!
In Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I am,