By Debby Giusti
“Taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.” (Luke 9:16-17)
Today’s gospel reading foreshadows the institution of the Eucharist with the feeding of five thousand, a story that highlights the compassion and mercy of Our Lord who cares for the needs of His people. How easily Jesus could have produced a succulent banquet to satisfy the multitude. Instead, He calls upon the apostles to draw from their own resources with the command, “You give them something to eat.”
The twelve bemoan their plight, saying that within the crowd they can find only five loaves and two fish, meager rations for such a vast number of people. Jesus readily accepts the seemingly insignificant offering, blesses the gift and gives it back to them for distribution. As we know, five thousand men and probably an equal number of women and children were fed to their full.
For me, the lesson is clear. Jesus seeks generous hearts willing to share what they have for the betterment of all. When our gifts are offered to the Lord, He can and will use them for good.
I write Christian fiction and have published eighteen novels, yet I still start every project with a blank page and a snippet of an idea from which a story needs to grow. Some might think the writing gets easier. But it doesn’t. With each new book, I wonder if the creative process will work—this time—and worry whether I can turn the idea into full-length fiction that my editor will buy and readers will enjoy. Invariably, the first draft is always rough and falls short of where it needs to be for publication.
That’s why I offer my beginning pages to Christ, asking Him to bless my humble efforts. Just like the five loaves and two fish, I know Jesus can transform that rough draft into something that will eventually resonate with readers. I hold onto that promise as I revise and edit until, at long last, the story takes shape.
When readers write letters of thanks, saying how my books have touched their lives in a positive way or when they mention a deepening of their faith and a realization of God’s love and mercy through a story, I know Christ has blessed my simple prose and turned it into something of value to feed His people.
Often we think our gifts to the Lord must be big and bright and beautiful. In reality, all he asks is that the offering be from our heart. For whether five loaves and two fish, a snippet of an idea or a flawed first draft, when the gift is freely given, Jesus can work with us to touch His people, and that truly is miraculous.
Today, on this feast of Corpus Christi, what are you willing to offer the Lord?
About the Author:
Debby Giusti is a bestselling author of Christian suspense, with more than half-a-million books in print. Her work has won numerous accolades, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense and the National Readers’ Choice Award. A lifelong Catholic, Army wife and mother of three, Debby’s goal is to spread the love of Christ, one story at a time. Visit Debby’s website or Facebook page to learn more.