Give Jesus your crumbs

Give Jesus your crumbs

“They said to him, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have …’” (Mt. 14:17)

When I read a familiar Gospel story, I ask God to help me see it with new eyes and think about it with a deeper meaning. Sometimes, I’m led to think about the other characters and events that might have taken place while the story unfolded. As I was reading this Gospel (Mt.14:13-21), I wondered, what if the person who had the loaves hadn’t shared his bread? What if he had thought it was too small, not the right shape or maybe a little over-baked or lumpy looking? What if he figured it wasn’t enough to begin with, so why bother? I realized it was a good thing I was not the one with the bread because I would have made those excuses and more, not remembering that Jesus takes whatever we offer and makes it perfect. I worry about offering Jesus prayer time and actions that are perfect, but all too often all I have left to offer him are my crumbs. But because of his grace, my crumbs are enough.

I bake three loaves of bread every week, and one is always a giveaway loaf. Dave is happy with his two loaves, but I’m guilty of studying the three – choosing the nicest one to give away. I will admit that if I have a week when the bread doesn’t turn out pretty, I won’t give one away at all. In all my time of giving away bread, nobody ever commented on its color, shape or size. Each person I’ve given bread to takes it with a smile and probably goes home to make toast.

God is … well, he’s God, the author of perfection, so why would I doubt for one minute that I had to offer him a perfect loaf when all he needs are my crumbs? He can take the broken, the crumbled, the messy and the small and turn them into absolute perfection. He doesn’t expect me to be the perfect Catholic; I don’t have to be the perfect wife, mom or teacher. He’s asking for the tiny crumbs of my life to be lifted up so he can bring great good. When we give him our crumbs, he can do great things with them and then we just simply stand back and give him the glory.

The Gospel doesn’t tell us the bread owner’s name, but it doesn’t matter. His humble generosity trumped his notoriety. I’m not going to scream out to the world, “Hey look at my crumbs!” I’m going to give them to the Father and then stand back and say, “Hey look what he did!” Thank you Father for taking my crumbs!

Pray: Spend some time in prayer considering the places in your life you feel the pressure to be perfect or over-achieve. Ask the Father to help you find balance in those areas.

Study: God’s grace is powerful. His grace is what allows us to offer our crumbs and know he will make them enough. Father Mike Schmitz has a great podcast called “Heaven: You’re Not Good Enough (and why that’s okay).” It offers great perspective on what God can do with all that we offer him.

Engage: The miracle of this Gospel occurred because a few joined what little they had and, in their offering to Jesus, something amazing happened. The exact thing happens in our parishes when we join our “crumbs” with those of others and offer them to the service of the Lord. Where can you get involved and allow the Father to use your gifts, talents and time to bless others?

Serve: What can you share? Can you take Communion to one person? Can you make something for a funeral dinner? Can you take a dozen cookies to a struggling neighbor? Can you stop and pray a rosary with an elderly person from your parish? With God’s help, your crumbs can be a banquet.