July 25, 2021
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
There is a powerful story about a prophet named Elisha in the Second Book of Kings found in the Hebrew Bible. A man comes to the Prophet with some loaves of bread. Elisha commands the man to set his bread before the people. The man objects, thinking he has not enough bread to feed all who are hungry.
We are interesting creatures. We hesitate to do anything unless we can do everything. Mother Theresa famously said, “If you can’t feed one hundred people, feed one!” I know for myself, when I cannot do everything I would like to do, I feel shame, failure, and guilt. When I think about it, my feelings of being insufficient stem from my love for others. Anyone who has ever loved another will undoubtedly feel insufficient at some point in the relationship. Love always wants to do more for the beloved. It takes great courage to do what you can when you know more is needed.
According to II Kings 4: 42-44, the man complied with the Prophet’s instruction. The “not enough bread” was set before the people. Everyone ate. There was more than enough. We might be surprised when we let go of our hesitancy to be of help. We might accomplish more than we could ever imagine.
Elisha comes into our lives all the time, inviting us to “set our bread before the people.” Our “bread” might be what we bake in the oven or share from our hearts. The Prophet comes to us in the outstretched arms of a child who needs our comfort and assurance. The voice of Elisha is heard in the street person who seeks assistance. The Holy One of God might appear in the Executive whose job is uncertain or the sick person who feels defeated by their illness. The Prophets have a way of appearing to us in all the affairs of life.
I now pray daily for the courage to hear the Prophet speaking in my heart that I might strive to be generous of heart. I seek to rise above the temptation to think “my not enough bread” is insufficient. I am beginning to realize what ultimately matters is not how much I share but if I share at all.
Elisha knew the bread the man carried was not the loaves in a basket but the generosity in his heart. Generosity is always more than enough. In the final analysis, the Prophet invited the man with the bread to give of himself, to trust himself, to fear not to be himself. Generosity is a miracle happening every day.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for having the courage to share your “not enough bread” in a World hungering for generosity, love, and self-giving. Thank you for being the miracle of the bread.
As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at: