Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.”
And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Misinterpreting Jesus’ bread analogy today, the disciples plainly betray their hidden insecurities: “Oh, no… What did we do wrong this time?”
As a student therapist learning to work in cross-cultural and trauma-sensitive settings, I can definitely relate to this. What I love about the disciples’ insecurity is the way that Jesus responds: He counters it, inviting them to think broadly and backwards: “Remember when we had “no food” for the crowds? Remember when we gave only the little we had, but “somehow” we had more and more than enough? Twice!?”
With what I imagine would be a smile, Jesus meets insecurity with abundance, as if to say: “Don’t worry. Just show up. Give what you can, and… trust.” Maybe never feeling like an expert isn’t so bad; maybe this is how we best “pray without ceasing” or labor alongside the Spirit.
When today can I trust God’s grace?
—Garrett Gundlach, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic from the Wisconsin Province. He is engaged in Master of Social Work studies at Loyola University Chicago.
“Funny you should think,”
God said to me,
“That your rookie year
and self doubts
and every other
‘not good enough’
are all obstacles on our way…
“No, no, no”
continued God, laughing–
“Because these are not only our journey itself,
but they can also be its beginnings,
the doors and the windows
you can fling or just slowly squeak open,
to let in the sun, the spring breeze,
or a friend such as me
to come in for a visit,
to listen then leave,
to bring these on together,
are you ready?”
And so today, I pray,
still to be able to say
all these days later:
“Amen – let’s go”
—Garrett Gundlach, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!