The WORD in Other Words by Fr Fred Saniel SVD (Philippines) for Tuesday After Epiphany
Celebrating their 50th year of married life, a couple shared their life experiences of being very poor to being simply poor. Living a life of worries about food, clothing and shelter, they had been kept together only by their faith in God and in themselves, for as long as they remained together, God will provide.
With their five children finishing college and are now gainfully employed, they are wondering how they had been able to accomplish an almost impossible feat. Their rice container was never empty; an extra job came along when they needed more money for their children; they never had any serious illness despite the hard life. They are still simply poor but no longer very poor. God provides!
The gospel miracle of the multiplication of five loaves and two fish that fed more than five thousand is a miracle that also happens in the concrete realities of human life. Have we ever wondered why in an effort to make both ends meet, despite seemingly impossible at first, we somehow survive and, at times, with some leftovers for a rainy day? Faith in God and in ourselves enables us to do so.
Filipinos believe that nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa, meaning that God helps those who help themselves. This is faith in divine providence! We can only offer to God the simplicity of our poverty. Despite the lack of material wealth, we can enjoy the blessed fruits of togetherness and solidarity with our loved ones and with others.
As long as faith moves us to offer God the little that we have — our five loaves and two fish — God can multiply them a hundredfold. In simple living, we give space for God to work wonders in our lives.