"Give them some food yourselves." Mk 6:37
Why does Jesus insist that his disciples feed the people who had been listening to him for a long time? Why doesn't he accept what seems like the very reasonable suggestion of the disciples that Jesus dismiss the people so they can go to nearby towns to buy themselves a meal? Shouldn't we all take care of ourselves and anticipate our needs so that we won't have to be dependent on others for our everyday needs?
There are no easy answers to these questions, but there is a ready response to the disciples. Rather than placing the responsibility on those following him to feed themselves, Jesus wants his disciples to anticipate the needs of the crowds, no matter how large, and rely on God to show them how to live and act in the world.
The challenge is clear but sometimes overwhelming. The Christian community needs to anticipate the needs of those around them, not to enable them to do nothing, but to give them time to hear the Good News and and be transformed by it. We all know the simple truth that faces us. Unless we witness to the Gospel by putting ourselves second, we are not believable.
Today, ask someone what they need. Do not tell them what you are willing to give them.
Whose generosity most moves you to change your own mindset?