All we've got: 17th Sunday OT

This miracle gives us a glimpse of what can happen when we stop telling Jesus what we need and start giving Him what we have. Like us, the Apostles’ starting point is what they don’t have, what they’re missing, our own true and obvious inadequacy. Look at all these hungry people! There’s no way we can manage this. Sorry, Jesus, but this seems pretty hopeless. Nothing we can do. We don’t have enough.

What do you have?

Not enough! That’s what we have. Not even close. Not enough to make a dent, to even make a little difference. The gap between what we need and what we have, it’s almost funny if it weren’t such a desperate situation.

What do you HAVE?

Please listen to me, I’m telling you we need more. We have practically nothing.

What do you have?

We have parishes closing all over the diocese. We have only a minority of the people baptized in this parish who practice their faith. Nationally we have six people leaving the Church for every one who joins. We have ten priests under the age of 50 in a diocese with 106 parishes. It’s a throw-your-hands-up, this-will-never-work situation. We hear about bursting convents far away, but in our area, the great religious orders who were the foundation of Catholic identity and ministry are vanishing. We have a county in decline of population and economy. We have so little and it seems like it’s getting less.

What do you have?

Scandal. A Cardinal of the Church, the former Archbishop of our nation’s capital, exposed as a scoundrel. Yet another priest in our diocese removed this year, sick beyond understanding. Like a nightmare you don’t wake up from. How can we show the Gospel to the world with leadership like that?

What do YOU have?

Me? ME? Are you kidding? I’m a mess. Not in a lovable way, I mean I’m really broken. If holiness is a mountain, I’m at the bottom of the canyon next to it. Seems like you’ve got some pretty holy people around. A few, anyway. You should be talking to them. I don’t know, the Pope seems pretty legit, maybe he can do something. But I’m not enough. I understand nothing and have so little to offer.

What do you have?

This! Look! This is all… it’s so little, it’s so inadequate. To quote the Apostles, “what good is this?” But if You want it that much, alright… take it. It’s all yours. My insufficiency is all Yours.

There we go. Thank you. Now… start giving it away. And we’ll see what happens.


  1. Thank you so much for your priesthood. You are courageous. Please understand how important you are to everyone you meet and many, like me who have never met you. Your words and your stare of grace are very powerful. God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Julie, that encouragement means so much!


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