Popovers that did not Pop! And bread that multiplied
I enjoy cooking and always view it as a challenge not only to create something good to eat but also to increase the list of recipes that I have tried and succeeded with. This week I faced a cooking disaster which was not my first. I tried unsuccessfully, to bake Popovers. Those puffy, tasty, buttery combination of a flaky bun and crunchy croissant. It both failed to pop and did not spill up and pop-over in the baking tin. The reason for sharing my misadventure with this baking experiment, is that todays gospel is about the multiplication of loaves, and Jesus’ success with feeding the large crowd. Whereas I was unsuccessful in baking, He was successful in feeding so many hungry souls. Whereas I had to follow a specific recipe, He needed only to rely on God the Father. Different situations with varying results. I am only a baker and He is the Savior.
Our scripture narratives present the astounding power and goodness of God for His people. It is given freely, without paying and at no cost. Both Prophet Isaiah and Jesus insist that God simply invites, and we just need to respond appropriately. The first part of our responding to this invitation is that we acknowledge our neediness and our dependence upon God. Each stress, in their messages, that God always has had compassion on His people no matter what their situations and needs. This compassion was not a one-time emotion but was an enduring attitude. The original covenant promise was that He would be our God if we desired to be His people. He is always concerned about our welfare and that will never change. As we read in today’s gospel, we will never be turned away to fend for ourselves.
Within this gospel message there is a command that is given to Jesus’ disciples when he told them: “…give them food yourselves.” Yes, He performed the miracle of the loaves being multiplied but He wanted His followers to be part of this great miracle. He multiplied but they had to distribute the miracle to the needy crowd. The same happens when we celebrate Mass and the priest consecrates and the people ‘take and receive’ His body and blood and at the end of Mass are told to ‘go forth and proclaim the Good News’.
In case you are wondering, I will make another attempt to bake some Popovers, and Jesus will continue to perform miracles in all our lives. I might not be successful, but He always is! I may bake alone, but He invites us to be part of His wonderful and miraculous ministry. Popovers are nice but not necessary, the Bread of Life is special and essential