The people had been fed on a hungry day and the scraps were left over. Bits of bread and fish. Twelve hampers left over, one for every tribe that was there. The collection of the fragments seems to have been very important – God gives more than we need very often.
We’re the fragment people – We are eating the fragments still. The Eucharist we receive is what God gives – the same love he gave then through Jesus.
We might say Jesus had a fragmented life. His body was broken in death. The cross was broken into fragments also. We sometimes feel we are like leftovers – that God might have no use for us.
God has a good call for us all. Each person in their best self and even in weakness and sin, can be a channel of God’s love. In the bread of life, we see ourselves at our best: St Augustine says: The bread is Christ’s body, the cup is Christ’s blood. If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members, it is your own mystery that is placed on the Lord’s table! It is your own mystery that you are receiving! Be a member of Christ’s body, then, so that your Amen may ring true.
We can do good because of God in us and around us.
The bread left over from the big meal Jesus shared with his people feeds us still. It is food for a broken people on the way to healing, for a people weak and trying to do good, always loved.
Jesus, bread of life, wine poured in mercy and love, protect us, love us, take us home.
Donal Neary SJ