Two weekends ago (April 14th) we celebrated my youngest son's Baptism. We started planning for the day about a month beforehand, and as we were planning, we decided to invite our friends as well as our family. We have been blessed to be a part of a big group of friends. There are 10 families (with a total of 22 children) and a few single people as well. We have celebrated weddings and births and have supported each other through miscarriages, serious illnesses and deaths of family members. They are an important part of our lives and we wanted to celebrate this special day with them.
As the RSVPs started to roll in, I started to get nervous; most of them could come! We knew that with just family, there would 21 people in our house. Most years we would have had the possibility of being able to go outside, but this year it snowed for three days during the week leading up to the baptism. The night we made it to 40 people coming to our house, I couldn't sleep. I ended up writing in my journal about it and working through my worries on paper. After writing/praying for about 15 minutes I had calmed down enough and realized that it would be okay.
Then two days before the Baptism, our total reached 50! I panicked again and asked my husband for reassurance (he is MUCH more level headed than I am, God knew what he was doing when he brought us together!). Then that evening as I was getting ready for bed, I thought to myself about what the Bible says about "parties" and "entertaining" large groups of people. At that moment, I remembered that the gospel reading for that day was John 6:1-15, The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes!
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
3 When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
4 He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages 5 worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit)."
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves 6 and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass 7 in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets 8 with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, 9 the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone
To be honest, I wasn't too worried about having enough food, but I was worried about everyone being comfortable. In this story, however, no one was complaining about having to sit on the ground, they were grateful for the food! It was then that I decided to STOP WORRYING!
You know what? It all worked out! Nicholas's Baptism took place during the 9:00 Mass so we got to celebrate the actual sacrament with a few hundred people. As for the party at our house, because of some illnesses, we ended up "only" having 45 people at our house. We had tons of food and everyone went away satisfied. While it was pretty loud for a while with all of the kids, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was wonderful to celebrate with ALL of those close to us!
The row of car seats, there were 2 more in other parts of the house as well.