“They all ate, and were satisfied.” A group of human beings satisfied—now that is a rare and wondrous thing to behold, then as now. Satisfied does not mean stuffed. Nor does it mean hungry. Satisfied means my desires, expectations and needs are taken care of.
Satisfied contains two main concepts.
1) I AM CONTENT with what I have.
2) The belief that what I have is enough to do what I need to do.
Our Lord was faced that day on the hillside with a multitude of people and a small band of disciples who all shared a common misperception about the universe. They operated from an assumption that there was not enough to go around, that their lives were defined by scarcity rather than abundance. And so that very fear kept them all bound to a life of scrambling and scratching out an existence in a world that favored only the most aggressive, where only the early bird got the worm, where the rich could get richer and the poor would get poorer only because there was not enough provision for all of them in the first place. Only the fittest could survive in such a competitive world. Does that world sound familiar to you?
Jesus lived from a different sense of reality – that of abundance and blessing. God has provided enough for every legitimate need in creation. Jesus knew that the only thing that is needed for everyone and everything to prosper and thrive is to share that abundance rather than hoard it.
• There is enough food produced to end world hunger right now? Poverty and hunger are not problems of overpopulation, but poor distribution. There is enough to go around, enough to satisfy any sized multitude.
Jesus invited his disciples to be content with what they had, trusting the Father that it would be enough.
There is a little story a friend sent that has helped me to be content in the upcoming transfer.
I was regretting the past and fearing the future
Suddenly my Lord was speaking: “MY NAME IS I AM”
“When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WAS.
When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here.
MY NAME IS I AM.”
Maybe that is the simplest way to learn to be content with what we have – to trust that God’s name is “I am.”
Second, the little boy was young enough to trust what Jesus could do with his meager gift. And it became enough. If we want to be satisfied, then WE are invited to trust God to take what looks meager and make it enough. We are invited to learn the open palm of the small boy who offered his small lunch to Christ rather than hoard it for himself.
And look what God does with that attitude: At the end of meal, there was not only enough, there was enough left over for each stunned disciple to labor under the weight of a basket full of left-overs. If we could only learn to trust God more, to see the world as full of abundance rather than almost empty, we might begin to open our palms more, share our small portion more. And maybe, just maybe, after sharing the laughter and generosity of plenty with others around us, we might find that we have finally found within us that treasure that had eluded our grasp for so long. We would finally feel satisfied and content.
And that brings us to the table of the Lord, where once again a meager amount of bread is taken, blessed, broken, and given. It never looks like much food, but the feast at this table will be enough for us all. For Jesus Christ is not only the host of this meal, he IS the meal itself. Come to the Lord’s table, you who long to be satisfied. There is enough. There is enough to satisfy ALL that we need…