When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ (Jn. 6:12)
Jesus tells the disciples to gather up the fragments. This seemingly insignificant line can give us great comfort and peace.
We can sometimes feel like our lives are mostly fragments. Forgotten dreams. Broken marriages. Estranged children. Vanquished hopes. Many failures. Lost friends. Derailed careers. Wasted efforts.
As we survey the fragments we can wonder what difference our life has made. We can question if we have done what we were meant to do. We can ponder how and why we stumbled. We can struggle to see how all the pieces fit together. It can feel like so much was wasted.
This story tells us that Jesus wants it all. He wanted all the fragments from the day He fed the 5,000, and He wants all the fragments of our lives now. He didn’t want any of the leftovers on that day to be lost, and He doesn’t want any of our messes or failures or disappointments or hurts to be lost either.
Just as Jesus used those fragments long ago to feed the disciples the next day, so He can use all the fragments of our lives to teach us wisdom, compassion, empathy, and courage. He gathers up all of our fragments because He doesn’t want anything we have done or experienced or suffered to be lost.
I encourage us to not despair about, nor despise our seemingly fragmented life. Make peace with all the pieces. Treasure all the experiences. Gather them up and offer them to Jesus, asking Him to use them all for His glory, for our healing, and for the blessing of others.
All of the fragments of our life have made us the remarkable and unique person we are now. When Jesus collects up all the fragments of our life by His grace, our life becomes whole and holy.
- What are the fragments of your life that you need Jesus to gather up and to make whole?
- Very often we don’t want to acknowledge, much less gather up, the fragments of our lives. How do you respond to Jesus who wants to recover and to redeem everything we have been through?
- Today’s reflection makes me cry with the hope I have been given to share. When you read it, do you feel the hope that Jesus wants you to receive? If so, how does that feel? If not, why are you resisting the grace that is in this story?
My Barnabas invites you to watch the video below: