Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted." (John 6:12)
These words of Jesus in today's gospel may seem a bit puzzling. After all, He had just proved to His disciples that He could easily supply food for hundreds and hundreds of people. Everyone had eaten until they were filled, and there was even some food left over! Talk about abundance! Why, then, does Jesus take such care to gather up the leftover fragments? He could just create more food whenever He wanted. Why bother with leftovers?
The answer comes from His own admonition in Scripture: "So that nothing will be wasted."
Why should any of us waste the good things God supplies?
If God takes the time and effort to create something good to give us ~ whether it's bread or talent or education or material goods of any kind ~ then those are gifts. Gifts from Him to us. Gifts to cherish. Just think! The people probably took some of the leftovers home with them, and were supplied with food for their journey.
We, too, can take advantage of what the Lord gives us and what seems to be "leftovers!" That might mean that after a meal, we should take care not to throw out any food that we can use later. It may be taking care to use all of the talents the Lord has given us. It may be taking care to give those material things we don't need to people who do need them! Whatever it is, we can take care "so that nothing is wasted."
Jesus gave us a beautiful example in today's gospel. And if Jesus didn't waste anything, then neither should we.
O Lord, help me today to see something that You have given me that I might be "wasting." Every good thing is a gift from You, O Lord, and I truly don't want to waste any of those gifts.
O Lord, in Your mercy, help me to see how to use or how to give away what You show me. And may it be for Your glory and give praise to Your name, O Lord. I make this humble prayer in Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania, Australia