Leftover scraps of loaves and fishes – Catholic Review of Baltimore


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By Rita Buettner

Catholic Review

Filed Under: Blog, Commentary, Open Window

I love miracles. So, the reading of the loaves and fishes is a favorite.

It’s easy to believe in a Savior who takes a tiny amount of food and feeds thousands of people who are hungry. You read that story, see how the impossible becomes possible, and you know that Jesus is the Son of God.


We know how that story goes. But what I love is how you can find something new every time and how God often has a new message for us to hear. When we heard the story of the loaves and fishes on Sunday, we were visiting a parish out of town, and the priest asked us to consider it in a different way.

Our homilist invited us to focus on how Jesus took the leftover fragments of the loaves and fishes and saved them. The priest encouraged us to think about the value and purpose of those scraps—and how Jesus took those broken pieces and used them to feed still more people.

Look at the brokenness in our own lives, he said, and think about how Jesus makes it into something good.

So beautiful. So powerful. So extraordinary.

There can be so much pain, so much suffering, so much brokenness. It’s easy to look at our lives and see the loss and grief. But good can come from pain. Beauty can come from brokenness. Life can come from death.

Perhaps more miraculous than stretching a few loaves and fish to feed thousands is to look at the partly eaten crusts and scraps of fish and see them not as something to be discarded—but rather nourishing food that is full of potential. Still, God sees so much in us. He knows that even when we are worn out and tired and broken we have much to offer to others.

He believes in us. Even when we feel depleted, he knows us as our best selves. He sees all we can and will bring to the world just by being who we are.

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