THE CONDITIONS FOR THE MIRACLE OF MULTIPLICATION
The reading of todays first and the Gospel channelled towards multiplication of bread; the miracle of multiplication. As in the first reading, Elisha multiplying bread for 100 persons to eat and have their fill, and in the Gospel, the blessed Lord multiplying bread for five thousands men excluding women and children to have their fill. And so we termed the theme of this homily to be conditions for the miracle of multiplication.
What are the condition that could be necessary for us to always experience the miracle of multiplication because we know that just as Jesus is yesterday, today and to be forever. That which happen in the old testament and repeated itself more in the new testament needs to repeat abundantly in our time if and only if we would be able to recongise the conditions for it.
Miracle of multiplication. There is unwelcomed tendency in man and it’s called “selfish hurding demon” Which is innate in man. (Illustration of my experience as a junior seminarian at St John’s seminary was used to explain this scenario better).
The selfish hurding demon is that spirit in man that will make you never to accept that you never have enough to give out no matter the abundance of wealth you have, you will always complain that it has finished, it’s not enough but for their to be conditions for the miracle of multiplication, we need to resist this unwelcomed spirit in us.
In the first reading 2kings 4: 42- 44, Elisha was able to resist it when the servant said ‘No, this is too small for us to feed 100 persons let’s have it for ourselves for our personal security’, Elisha will say No, gather those bread give it out to them. For the Lord said, as you are giving it, it willl be multiplied and they will have in abundance and it will still remain and so it happened.
In the Gospel, John 6:1-15 our blessed Lord had this same experience when Phillip in his excuses of insufficiency said that 200 denary is not enough for us to feed this 5000 men. Lord tell them to go, let them look for where to eat. We don’t have anything. Our blessed Lord will resist that spirit and cash into that of Andrew’s generous optimistism. As for Andrew the brother of simon he would he say there is someone who has something, can we start from 5 loaves and two fish to help anywhere it stops, then we know it is finished. Our blessed Lord cashed into his and when they brought it, there was miracle of multiplication feeding five thousand men and remaining twelve baskets, started with five loaves and ended with twelve baskets.
In our own time, this miracle is still possible, very possibe, the problem therefore becomes who will begin so that our blessed Lord can cash in. Jesus’ cashed into Andrew’s optimism. Have you done something? What have you been able to do to help the poor so that the Lord can multiply them for you or will you always cash into the spirit of Philip who would say it’s not enough, I don’t have your time, and so on.
Let us know how best to offer to those who need them. You see, when we talk about generosity, charity, richness, wealth the criteria for you to measures your wealth or your charity is not about how much you possess, or how much you have. NO but it is how ready are you willing to offer in selfless love for others. That is when we know you are rich.
The question is how many persons have you been able to influence in their live so that people can celebrate you, so that God can be happy with you that you are influencing the lives of others or are you in the criteria of just to be hurding, dumping in the bank and people are dying. May God help us never to be among this party.
When we talk about generosity again, there is this tendency that God will always provide for you but when God is providing for you in Abundance, it is not an opportunity for you to be increasing your standard of living, it is an opportunity specially for you to increase your standard of giving to other that is why God is increasing and whatever you have is not yours, it comes from God to pass through you to influence others.
We heard the first, second and the Gospel reading. Let us use the Gospel as a case study to make it more practical to us to know what it means to have conditions for the miracles of multiplication. I will go through different instances.
In this gospel, Jesus was tired of working, performing miracles, healing the sick etc. He wanted to go and rest close to the the sea of Galiee called Tiberias, people heard that Jesus was going there and immediately, they followed him, instead of resting, he began to teach them, in the process of teaching them, he himself discovered that this people are hungry. Now first of all ask yourself those who were looking for Christ what was their primary intention? Their intention was to listen to him Because he is a man of wisdom, he is a prophet, we have not seen someone like this, let us go and listen to his word in order to improve our lives, they were not looking for christ for food, it was Jesus himself that discovered that they were hungry.
My beloved brothers and sisters, let us learn that our coming here to Christ is not to ask but to thank him, worship him, he knows what is best for us it is to listen to his word, he said seek first the kingdom of God and every other thing will be Jara but if you are interested in ‘give me’, ‘my lord protect me from witches and wizards’. Did he say he don’t know that those things exist, so why are we underrating him, he knows all those things what he needs is our presence and gratitude. The greatness of all prayer is to say thank you Jesus and if it is the only prayer you can say, it is enough for him. Whom you are saying thank you knows what is best for you. So they came to hear God’s words and it was Jesus himself that discovered their plight. So, the first ever condition of the miracle of multiplication is coming to Church, thanking God and allowing him to decide what is best for you.
Secondly, as a leader Jesus himself discovered that this people are hungry. You see that sense of care, empathy, compassion in him, he was not expecting them to say Jesus you have said enough but he discovered that they were hungry and they had to do something. In our different positions, you see people who are troubled, you see who are helpless, you see people who need sense of direction, who need also guidance. Do you expect them to come to you before you help them, No it is not necessary, as followers of Christ, let us learn from him that we should be disposed to help, even before that plea comes.
The third instance, Jesus told his disciples, this people are hungry, you yourself give them something to eat. As for Philip, a wonderful mathematician who knows how to calculate, they are five thousand and we have 200 denari, we can’t help, it can’t go, tell them to go and look for something to eat. Philip is intelligent but he was stock in complaining. Intelligence without faith can lead you to nowhere. If philp had faith in his intelligent to have known that 200 denary is not enough to feed 5000 men but at least with God, all thing are possible by starting first with this 200 denari and know how it can go.
On the contrary, Andrew would come and observe there is a young boy here this boy had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, our blessed Lord, is their anything we can do with this little thing. When we are able to break the little we can go far and Jesus would say alright, bring it. Whatever you have, no matter how little, try to make good use of it and Jesus will multiply it
When Jesus brought it what did he do, he began with ” THANKSGIVING”. Jesus didn’t say we have 5 loaves multiply, let it continue to increase that we may feed this people, it was not necessary. If God wants to increse it, he knows the best. God for this little you brought, thank you.
N.B Gratitude, Greatful heart, it is very necessary in our time no matter your different weakness, your financial crisis, your physical challenges, marrying status, barren condition. (Illustration of how I started tecsthought.com with just 25 thousand). So beloved, start from somewhere and never keep complaining, it will not help you. Thank God for the little you have and do well with it. One thing we should know in life is that your human weakness will remind you that you have not done this or that, listen beloved friends in Christ, God knows the best for you.
And having blessed them, requested them to sit down, they all sat down those who listen and sat down, the gospel said were filled to their satisfaction. This is to say that listening to God’s word is very primary to the miracle you are looking for. Also, after they must have eaten to their satisfaction, he instructed them to gather the left over. So I put a word to you ” If your dust bin is richer than the refrigerator of your neighbours, then there is something wrong with you spiritually. So let’s work on it, it will take us to no where.
Finally, when Jesus have perform those miracles, they wanted to crown him king but he disappeared because what he wanted to give them was beyond food that was why he directed for us to have eternal life. In our world today, we are not just crowning him king of food but there are other things we do to crown him king. We should learn not to demote him through our praises, we should stop this unnecessary tittle rather we should listen to his word so as to gain eternal life.
Therefore, whatever miracle God perform in our life, it is a sign and not for you to get stock in that miracle and be looking for more but for you to have a change of heart, believe in him and gain eternal life. If after living in this world and you are enjoying what ever miracles you think both the good and the bad which you call miracles and don’t bring you close to Christ to follow his footsteps, to have compassion for others, to offer time for others and keep his words. If it can’t help you that way, then you are gone.
Therefore, we pray that as we continue to experience miracles, let those miracles bring us closer to Christ, to God’s will, caring for others, accepting what ever we are today, praising God in him for him alone can multiply miracles beyond our imagination.
Through Christ our Lord Amen.