Today I'm struck by the fact that Christ commands the Apostles to gather the fragments leftover so that nothing will be wasted. (John 6:12) Now, we may just think Jesus is referring to keeping some leftovers for lunch tomorrow, but there are so many layers of meaning here.
Firstly, this miracle was a precursor to Christ giving us the Eucharist. Christ is physically feeding people who are hungry with real, actual food. Christ gave us the Eucharist for the same reason: we need to be fed in a physical way to sustain our spiritual life in Him. Participating at the Mass and receiving the Eucharist is an even greater miracle than when Christ fed the five thousand, as the Mass is Christ feeding us with His own Body.
Then I think of my own participation in the Mass. I offer up my own prayers, sacrifices, failures, petitions along with Christ's sacrifice. I know that all I offer is given to God the Father along with the Sacrifice of Christ's own life in the Mass.
This is so profound, and should shake me to the core just to contemplate, that I have this ability to give to God all that I have through such a powerful and direct Sacrament. But I know there are parts of my life that I don't give over to Him, parts I cling to or hide or think are unworthy of being a part of the same sacrifice as Christ's.
But what does Christ say in today's Gospel miracle?
Jesus wants everything that's left over. He wants all the parts of my life that I don't know what to do with, that I don't feel worthy of offering to Him. I have lots of issues, burdens, wounds, and crosses that I feel don't fit into the ideal Christian life.
He wants it all. Jesus wants nothing in our lives to be wasted. Jesus wants our hearts united to His through the Eucharist; He wants us to offer all we have with Him through the sacrifice of the Mass so that nothing is wasted.
What can you bring to Jesus today that you've been holding back or that you feel doesn't fit neatly into the Christian life? Offer it to Christ today at Mass or in your own prayer. Remember that Jesus wants nothing in our life wasted; He wants it all.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here.