Available for the Lord

One cannot and should not get away from the reality that surrounds you, but that doesn't mean that you should go with it or accept it. Life is a continuous school of learning and we must learn and share our lessons learned with others.

There was a period of my life in which I was working with machinery, specifically heavy machinery for municipal work. I was always struck by a word that was put, from time to time, in the work order of a machine... Machine... 'on availability'. It meant that the machine was in full working condition and in the required place, but for some reason it had not worked.

Today I want to relate this word to a passage of the Gospel, specifically when Jesus performs the miracle of the loaves and fishes. We all know the scene: a crowd of people quantified in the thousands who followed Jesus are in a deserted place and it's getting late. The disciples tell Jesus that, given the circumstances, it is better to dismiss them and to go and buy food from nearby villages. But Jesus surprises us then and now, with such a simple and direct word to our heart: “It is not necessary for them to leave, give them something to eat yourselves”.

I can imagine the face of the disciples on hearing these words, but I can also feel their confidence, their availability for Jesus when saying “but all we have here is five loaves and two fishes ...”

One may fall into the temptation of not sharing the few or many temporal goods that we have with others, justifying ourselves in that our contribution may be minimal, almost negligible, with the enormous demand from someone in a certain circumstance, as in this case of the passage of the Gospel, five loaves and two fishes in facing the need of thousands of people. But Jesus wants us to show something that we must strive to understand and make our own: to be readily available and to have trust in Him. He does not ask us to do the miracle alone, but to give and share with others how little or how much we have, and He will do the expected miracle, without us perhaps seeing it or appreciating it.

Being available then means 'having the lamp light on, with oil and on hold'. Not an idle wait, but prepared, even if we think that no one needs us, until Jesus demands something from us. It could come perhaps through a circumstance, and by our own means we think that we will not be able to do it, but offering confidently what we have and leaving it in His hands, He will make it possible. 

Eduardo JB