It’s a cursed existence to have nearly everything yet focus instead on what one doesn’t have. We see this in the famous story of Eve and Adam, who crave forbidden fruit rather than feasting on the bountiful harvest God has given them.
This tendency is not merely an ancient one. Today’s consumer culture insists that even the wealthiest among us never have enough. We need nice clothes, faster cars, bigger homes, better seats.
Jesus, in contrast, models an appreciation for the abundance that Eve and Adam and so many of us overlook. When his disciples reject the hungry masses, believing it impossible to feed so many people, Jesus perceives not scarcity but a bounty of resources at hand. And sure enough, upon sharing, they find there is more than enough food to go around—seven baskets more!
These contrasting narratives invite reflection on how we relate to the gifts at our hands: Do we perceive that we never have enough—never enough talent or power or wealth to share with neighbors and strangers in need? Or do we recognize the goods that God gives and calls us to share? If we underestimate our God-given gifts, we miss out on the miraculous existence that comes with sharing the abundance God has given us to enjoy with one another.