The Gospel shows us the power of Jesus to do what needs to be done. However, he does his miracles using something, the five barley loaves and two fish. From these little food, Jesus was able to multiply them to feed the people following him, which according to Philip could not be fed by six month’s worth of wages. But Jesus does not find the food given to him as a hindrance of doing the miracle. When the people saw this miracle they said This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.
The people wanted to take him by force and make him king. We see then, the plans of men as compared to the plans of God, of how men see things and how God thinks of it. The First Reading also shows us a similar situation. The high priest and his council wanted to stop the Apostles from preaching about Jesus. But Gamaliel advised them to keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them – in that case you may even be found fighting against God.
Gamaliel knew nothing happens without God allowing it and if this venture if from God, nothing can stop it. If this venture if of man, then it will not succeed. We have our ideas of how problems are to be solved. In the Gospel, the Apostle Philip thought the problem was too many people to feed. For Jesus, the problem was not too many people, but not enough food, which he solved by multiplying what was given to him. For the high priest and the council, they thought the problem was the Apostles were misleading people so they had to stop the Apostles. But for Gamaliel, the problem is neither the Apostles nor the people. It was the possibility that the high priest and council trying to force their ideas on God.
We often try to fix things on our own without relying on God. But the truth is, we can only do so much. We need to allow God to work on a specific situation. When we are confronted with something that is beyond our abilities, we trust God that he will let us know what he wants us to do. The Psalm tells us: wait for the Lord: be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. When there are problems too big for us, we come to the Lord, bringing to him whatever we have. This is enough for Jesus to take and do as he pleases.
Lord, I am afraid. I am overwhelmed. I am so tired. But here I am, I surrender all I have for you to do as you will. You are God and you can take this and use them for the glory of your name.