It was getting very late, and Jesus' disciples came up to him and said, "This is a lonely place and it is getting very late, so send the crowds away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about to buy themselves something to eat." Jesus replied, "Give them something to eat yourselves." Mark 6:35-37
Jesus instructs his followers to feed the hungry. The disciples needed Jesus' assistance to do this. Jesus didn't take over, multiply the loaves and fish, and provide more than enough food for the crowds. He insisted that the disciples take part, called them to be his partners in providing nourishment. We, too, are called to feed the hungry, with God's assistance.
Last Saturday, our community was privileged to have the Memorial Mass for Shirley Mercer in our chapel. Shirley was a long time friend of the sisters, and a dedicated benefactor of the sisters and Mission Benedict. Shirley was a wonderful example of a modern day disciple feeding the poor. For many years, Shirley was a "professional coupon clipper" -- that is, she saved coupons and therefore saved money so that she could help feed an enormous number of the needy. Shirley planned, organized, got others involved and delighted in filling her car with food, especially boxes of cereal that she then donated to a variety of places who help the hungry.
Shirley truly heard the gospel message "Give them something to eat yourselves." May God reward her abundantly at the banquet in the Kingdom.