Today, the Gospel touches our “mental pockets”... This is why, as in Jesus' times, the voice of the prudent ones can be heard weighing whether this is worth our while. When they saw it was getting late, the disciples, who did not know how to handle the crowd gathered around Jesus, found a reasonable option: «they can go to the villages and buy something for themselves to eat» (Mt 14:15). Little did they expect their Lord and Master to break this sensible advise by telling them: «you give them something to eat» (Mt 14:16).
A popular saying goes: «He who does not count on God, does not know how to count». And it is true, the disciples did not know —neither do we— how to count for they forgot, as we often forget, the most important part of the addition: God himself is always amongst us.
The disciples did their calculation right; they figured out the exact number of loaves and fishes, but how could they possibly divide them amongst such a huge crowd?; this is why they cautiously said: «We have nothing here but five loaves and two fishes» (Mt 14:17). But they did not realize they also had Jesus—true God and true man— among them!
By quoting St. Josemaria Escrivà, it would not do us any harm to remember here that: «It is a good thing in our apostolate —it is in fact an obligation—to figure out our earthly means (2+2=4), but do not ever forget! you must also luckily count on another addend: God +2 +2...». Christian optimism is not based upon the absence of difficulties, of resistance and of personal errors, but upon God who says: «And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age» (Mt 28:20)
It would be good that both you and I, when facing our own difficulties, and prior to granting a death sentence to the boldness and optimism of the Christian spirit, we could relay upon God. If only we could say along with St. Francis that great prayer: «Wherever there is hate let me put love»; that is, wherever my accounts do not square up, let me rely upon God.