Rome News-Tribune

A God who wastes nothing

- Deacon Stuart Neslin is a Parish Deacon and Parish Administra­tor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome.

It took a while, but we seem to have finally gotten the hang of recycling. At first, thirty years ago, it just seemed like an enormous hassle. After all, we never had to do it before so what was the big deal?

But over time, as the public became more educated on the subject and as communitie­s made it easier and easier for people to recycle, many of us who resisted at first began to buy into the idea.

Now, it comes kind of naturally. It’s sort of become a habit for us. We’re not wasting materials and resources that are limited and could run out someday.

Jesus, it seems, doesn’t like to waste either, or so it would seem from the Scripture story of the loaves and the fishes. After feeding the multitude from what started out as five loaves and two fish, Jesus instructs his disciples to collect the fragments that are left over after everyone has had their fill.

Why does he not want anything wasted? Why would he do this? Maybe it’s because God does not like to waste for the exact same reason as you and me; or perhaps not.

We tend to try not to waste things for the simple reason that we don’t want those things to run out. And so, we turn off lights and faucets and all those sorts of things to protect what is limited.

God, on the other hand, if we can try to imagine what God is “thinking” doesn’t waste because of what he knows is limited, possible and because he knows that the things that really matter can never run out.

In this scripture parable, once again we see Jesus doing what he seems to always do: bringing a lot out of a little. He transforms an apparent dead-end into an opportunit­y and takes a bad situation and brings something good out of it.

God simply wastes nothing. Not because he fears there won’t be enough, but because he knows that something good can always come from every situation, no matter how hopeless or unlikely it may seem.

God can use absolutely anything and everything for his purposes.

“Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted,” we hear in Scripture. And so, we might want to ask ourselves: What might be the “fragments” in our own lives that God may want to use?

Maybe it’s the fragment of a relationsh­ip that is wounded, or faltering, or breaking apart. It’s the fragment of a serious illness, or the death of a loved one, or some other painful situation. Maybe it’s the fragment of loneliness, or not being understood, or not feeling valuable.

Whatever it may be, God wants to gather those things up. He wants to take what seems like a little, take what seems to be too heavy to bear, take what seems to be hopeless and from them bring about something good and beautiful and meaningful and life-giving.

That’s the incredible God we have. We have a God who wastes nothing but rather who chooses to take our limitation­s, our pain, our sorrows, our faults, and even our sin. From those he provides for us and for the world as well as everything we need to flourish in this life, everything that can feed us in ways that only God can.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States