And what would have happened if they had held onto that little chunk of bread and of fish that Jesus handed them? How much would they have had at the end of the day? That little bit. That’s all.
But because they dared to do what He commanded, because they gave away from what they had - and what they never felt to be more more than a handful - they ended up the day not with a handful of bread and fish, but each carrying a basket.
There’s more here than just a lesson to trust in divine providence. Jesus is, instead, opening up to you the very secret of life - real life, His life. It’s not found in keeping and guarding and protecting, building a wall around, you and your stuff. It’s found instead, quite unexpectedly and counter-intuitively, in giving away - stuff, to be sure. But more than stuff, self.
This is the crazy life into which our Lord was calling them - and into which He calls us. The miracle of the loaves and fish is like a living parable of the truth of His words later in John’s Gospel: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (12:24,25)
Give your life away, He dared them, and you’ll be given an abundance of life that you can’t even begin to imagine. Hold onto your life here, and hold it tight, and never let it be taken away, and you’ll end up losing the thing you’re trying to guard.
These are not just words or ideas. These are the key to unlock the miracle of His own life!
That bread in their hand that they gave away - it was a sign of Him. For He is the bread of life, and He came down from heaven to give life to the world and to do by giving His own life away - and thus He brought our human nature into an abundance that could never be imagined before. He has indeed borne much fruit!
Glory to You, self-giving Lord! Glory to You! Grant us the joy of losing our lives that we might truly find them - in You alone.