“You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16

How many times does God open a door for us—an opportunity to grow in our faith—and we say to ourselves, “I don’t think I can handle this.  I just don’t have what it takes.”

The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a good meditation to help restore our confidence.  We’re more capable of doing good than we sometimes realize.

Today’s Gospel is asking us to take personal inventory:  What gifts do I have that I can share?  What blessings can I give that will change someone’s life and reflect the compassion of Our Lord?  Can I—just one person—help build God’s Kingdom on earth? 

The first step in working through all these questions—and experiencing a personal miracle of faith—is recognizing that we are always in God’s hands.  Everything we have is a gift from God.  With these gifts, we can be assured that we are worthy and capable of great things.

For any of us in need of a little assurance, the details of today’s Gospel provide answers.  A young boy offers five barley loaves and two fish.  The Jews knew barley as the first grain of spring—symbol of the harvest and the unleavened bread of Passover, the bread we now call the Eucharist. 

With confidence in God the Father, Jesus blessed the seven gifts from the child and began to distribute them to the 5,000 assembled before him.  The blessing was so great that later on the apostles filled 12 wicker baskets with fragments of the meal.  We can think of the 12 baskets in many ways:  as the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 patriarchs, and also the 12 apostles—all symbolizing God’s people doing God’s work.

Rather than dwell on what’s missing in our lives, today’s Gospel teaches us to think about what’s possible, especially in the presence of faith.  Rather than focus on risk, we can accept

that we are always in God’s hands, and that nothing we do will ever be wasted.  Multiply one act of kindness with more acts of kindness and… you know the rest.

, the evangelists must have thought today’s story a very big deal.  The multiplication of loaves and fishes is the only miracle Jesus performed that appears in all four Gospels.  So rather than saying, “I’m not talented enough,” or “I don’t think I’m the best person for the job,” just know that you have all the gifts you need to work a miracle.  Why not give it a try?

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 4th Sunday

What little we have we offer all to you,

Lord Jesus, who fed the hungry thousands

with just five loaves and two fish.

May we not let our poverty prevent us

from doing good by giving our all.

Multiply our good works to the glory

of Your name and build up

the kingdom of God in our time.

Jesus, our Master, and our Messiah,

help us feed people’s hunger

not just for bread but for every word

that comes forth from Your mouth, O God.

Feed their hunger for justice with righteousness,

for forgiveness with reconciliation, and for peace

with that joy that only comes from knowing and

accepting You as Lord.

We come before You with open hands, Lord Jesus,

holding nothing back we ask You to take all we offer

and give us all we need to live fully and joyfully

here on earth and eternally with all Your saints

in heaven where You reign with the Father and Holy Spirit,

God forever and ever.


Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.


We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly, Fr. Juan Montes Zúñiga)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)





(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

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