December 8, 2001 is the day TOBET was officially founded by nine of us eager, young adult Catholics who had been changed by Jesus Christ through St. John Paul’s vision of the human person known as Man and Woman: He Created Them: A Theology of the Body.
We had no idea that exactly 27 years earlier, on December 8, 1974, Karol Wojtyla (who only four years later would become Pope John Paul II) was sitting before the Blessed Sacrament in a Polish chapel and had begun writing the Theology of the Body in his own handwriting with the words, “O, Maria, you are all beautiful.”
I often reflect on that grace-filled moment…that ONE man who was faithful to God…decided to give the Church a gift. And because Pope John Paul presented this gift of the Theology of the Body to Jesus through Mary, God chose to multiply his humble offering of “loaves and fish,” to nourish many (many more than 5,000) throughout the years.
At TOBET, we have also been honored to present our own “loaves and fish” to the Lord, Who has allowed our evangelical work to “feed” over 246,000 hungry embodied souls each year.
I now ask you. What are the loaves and fish that you can offer to Jesus each day? Perhaps it is as simple as calling a friend who is lonely. Maybe it is caring for your special-needs child. Are your loaves and fish your faithfulness in praying for others, assisting a homeless person to shelter, or
admonishing the sinner in a loving way?
Let’s imitate our beloved Pope Saint John Paul and Mother Mary who presented their lives to Jesus Christ…who received and multiplied their gifts in astounding ways. Perhaps we will never know the fruitfulness which comes from our small offerings of loaves and fish until heaven, but for now, we should trust that our faithfulness is multiplied by God, right here and now.
Monica Ashour, MTS; MHum is President, Author, International Speaker, and Content Creation Director at Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, Inc. (TOBET)