by Judy Held

I don’t even know Lou Lotz, but he caused a lightbulb moment for me this week.

Mr. Lotz writes daily devotionals I sometimes read and he reflected recently on a story from the Gospels that mentions a boy with some food to share. Most of you have probably heard this story hundreds of times.

I’ll digress to say that lucky me gets to interact with many good-hearted people, who truly care about the Catholic Church and its future, through my work at the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. I can tell you, however, that way too often I hear laments from these good people such as, “I wish my gift could be larger”, or “It probably won’t make much of a difference, but…”.
Maybe I should respond, “On the contrary, your five loaves and two fishes will feed thousands.”

You see, about the miracle Jesus performed when he fed the multitudes with just five loaves and two fishes that a boy had to offer (John 6: 1-15), Lou Lotz writes: “Wouldn’t it have been just as easy for Jesus to create the whole meal out of nothing, and wouldn’t that have been an even greater miracle? Yet, Jesus ‘took the loaves’ (v. 11). Why? Perhaps to demonstrate that even meager resources, in his hands, can accomplish great things. “

Isn’t that the truth! Jesus was always showing us through his actions and words that as God’s children, we are compelled to share what we have, and no matter how little, it is good enough. He can do much with what we offer with our sincere intentions!

While sometimes we feel our contributions are small compared to how great a need is, this Gospel story conveys that we just need to be “five-loaf believers”. That is, we need to truly believe that our gifts, no matter the size, will make a difference in fulfilling the mission Christ gave us. They will make an impact for the life of the Church. Five-loaf believers give in faith. They give from love.

So, what was the “lightbulb” moment for me caused by Mr. Lott’s writing? It was when I realized that giving to an endowment is a bit like the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Every day, I remember that the purpose of the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana is “Endowing the Future of Our Faith”. The reason endowments work is that God is able to take our gifts, given in faith and in love, and when they are endowed, they grow into a never-ending stream of assistance for His Church. Much like the loaves and fishes that fed thousands, all because of Christ’s blessing.

“In wonderful ways the Lord multiplies the resources we place in his hands.”