Eyes of Faith and Expectant Hearts

Human logic is too often the mechanism on which we rely when circumstances or situations arise that challenge us. A problem emerges that seems complicated at best or insurmountable at worst—a conflict with a coworker, a health concern of a family member, a financial hardship, or perhaps a loved one who has lost his faith. I admit that I often find myself in a vicious cycle of running the scenario through the filter of my human logic searching and probing for solutions. 

In today’s Gospel, a similar situation is described. Jesus is with his disciples and sees a large crowd approaching. He poses a question to Philip, asking where enough food can be purchased to feed this large crowd. Now to offer some perspective, we are talking about a substantial number of people—5,000 men, which means the number was most likely double or triple of that with women and children.  And the Gospel tells us something else: “He said this to test him because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6).

I can truly empathize with Philip. He was being tested by Christ and his “go-to” strategy was what mine tends to be as well—human logic. Philip could only see the obstacles—they certainly did not have enough money to buy food for all these people. That’s the problem with human wisdom; it is finite, limited, and if it is not paired with faith, it will always fall short. Perhaps Andrew’s response fared a little better. While he could not see the solution, he offered what little he could see—information about a boy who had five barley loaves and two fish. If you think about this response, why offer it all? UNLESS…unless as impossible as it seems, this problem could have a solution that does not seem logical. Perhaps there is a hint of a turning to eyes of faith in this response.

The most amazing detail though was that Christ already knew what he was going to do. There was already a plan in place for a miracle that would not only provide but would do so in abundance. Philip and Andrew just did not know that. 

Another astounding truth about this passage is that it is the beginning of the Bread of Life Discourse (chapter 6 of the Gospel of John). This chapter is intimately linked with the account of the Last Supper, and ultimately with the gift of Christ giving Himself, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, to us in the Eucharist. 

So what lessons might we draw from reflection upon this Gospel?

  • In all situations, turn to Christ and realize the limitations of human logic. Logic is a gift when it is used properly and illuminated by faith, but by itself, it will always fall short.
  • The Eucharist is the source of all strength and wisdom. Seek to be fed at the banquet table of Christ for nourishment and sustenance.
  • Christ already has the answers and solutions in place. Can I look with eyes of faith and wait upon Him for his miracles?
  • Give Christ what little I have. He can bless and multiply it beyond my imaginings.

Today, let us acknowledge as Philip did the challenges that we face. Let us like Andrew offer what little we have.  Can we go one step further? Let us imitate our loving Jesus by giving thanks and awaiting the miracles that our Heavenly Father already has in place. Let us look at every situation with eyes of faith and expectant hearts.

[Readings: Acts 5:34-42; Jn 5:1-11]

Celina Manville

I have been in education for 20+ years, mostly working in Catholic schools serving children with special needs. Ed and I have been married over 26 years and have 3 (now) adult children - Eddie, Tony, & Kateri. Since my mom was from Brazil, and I speak fluent Portuguese, I can understand Spanish fairly well. Currently, we live in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and are parishioners at St. Luke, the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh. I am most grateful to my parents for grounding me in the faith, to the Franciscan University of Steubenville for its amazing formation and education, and to Christ and His Blessed Mother for being at my side.


  1. Jerry DEMELO Jr on April 17, 2021 at 12:40 am

    Powerful analysis. Thank you for the reflection. Great bullet points at the end.
    As I looked at your biographical background I was pleased to see that your mom is from Brasil. I was born in the US but my parents went to Brasil and I grew up in Rio and then São Paulo.

    • Celina M Manville on April 22, 2021 at 3:35 pm

      Obrigado, Jerry! Glad you enjoyed the reflection.

Leave a Comment


Recent Posts