Friday of the Second Week of Easter
“Amen, Amen, I say to you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these” (Jn 14:12). In the light of the resurrection, these words from the Last Supper take on new significance for us. What are the works that Jesus does? The work that Jesus does, the work that he sees the Father doing, is, of course, love. On the cross, Jesus allows every power to be stripped from him, save the one power that reveals him: that of love. When we live from Christ’s resurrection, we are assured of the grace to be able to love, if we are open to receiving that grace. But within that love, which is the greatest of all works, there are miracles that reveal the surpassing greatness of that love. Among the wonders of Jesus that most frequently come to mind is the miracle of “loaves and fishes” that we hear in today’s Gospel.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed by the task that love sets before us and by the need of so many people in our world, we can recall this Gospel and realize that, through Jesus, we have more to offer our fellows than we could ever imagine. What are five barley loaves and two fishes for such a large crowd? Or, for that matter, what can I offer a people hungry for God with just my entry-level position, or the change in my pocket that can barely pay for my morning coffee, or the subway pass that I can barely afford, or this, or that? But the task set before us is a shared task. It is given to us as a gift from God, for God wishes for us (and for the world) to see what great things we are capable of when we abide in his grace. So he does not ask us to give what we do not have, he simply asks us to give everything. Our “everything” is a pittance, of course, but it is enough. It is enough, because Jesus does not ask of us what we do not have, nor does he ask of us that which he does not also provide. So, we put in our “everything” and he puts in his “everything,” and lo, it is not only sufficient, but “twelve wicker baskets” are filled with what is left over “from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.”
Let us ask Jesus for the Easter grace of being able to offer our “everything” together with him, so that the world that does not realize its own need might be fed with the Word of eternal life.