In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus sends out the disciples in pairs and instructs them to take the bare minimum with them saying, ‘take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.’ If you are like me, the idea of going on a journey unprepared, without the essentials and the extras for those just in case moments, is anxiety inducing. Why would Jesus send them out vulnerable and in need? Perhaps, it was to prevent them from relying solely on themselves and that their need makes space for God to work in their lives through the goodness of others.
Every school day, Mary’s Meals feeds over 1.8 million children a meal in their place of education. The beauty of this work of Mary’s Meals lies in the fact that no individual drives our feeding programmes. It relies on the goodness of people and interconnectivity of local communities. Just like our Blessed Mother gave her total ‘Yes’ to God, our volunteers in the programme countries, the families of the children, give their ‘Yes’ to serving the food each day and the volunteers around the world give their ‘Yes’ to spreading awareness of our feeding programmes and raising funds. These little acts of love make it possible for us to keep our promise to the children we feed daily.
One of our core values at Mary’s Meals is that we believe in the innate goodness of people and in my first year as a Supporter Engagement Officer for Mary’s Meals, it has been awe-inspiring to witness how true that really is. Local people hear the story of Mary’s Meals and in response give of themselves in whatever way they feel able- be that through prayer, volunteering, donating or spreading the word, because they know that every child deserves enough food to eat and to gain an education.
God is present in these situations and I am slowly learning that as well as planning how to spread the word about Mary’s Meals, I need to make space for these beautiful encounters. The most wonderful opportunities for spreading the word about Mary’s Meals, that I could never have achieved myself, have arisen when I have made space for God.
How do I make space for God to provide?
By being present to those I meet and simply sharing the Mary’s Meals message rather than planning each minute detail. This enables the Lord to touch hearts and to work through others. This is ultimately true of the growth of Mary’s Meals. We started feeding 200 children in Malawi in 2002 and since then have grown to feeding nearly 2 million children daily in 19 countries in 2021. This type of growth has only been possible through diligent planning and making space for the Providence of God.
So this week, I encourage you, like the disciples, to make space for God to work in your life through others, to resist the urge to over plan, to be present to those around you, to seek His goodness in them and give of yourself when you can. It is not easy to give over control, so start small and I hope that God blesses you abundantly as you bring Him into your daily life.
If you would like to step out in faith and spread the word about Mary’s Meals in your local community, please contact Caoimhe by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07394564065.