As little as we are
St Terese of Liseux, who had a deep and intimate devotion to the infant Jesus, wrote in her diaries that all she wished to be was ‘a plaything for the Lord’, like a small ball that the child Jesus could play with at his pleasure and discard when he had finished. She simply wanted to be at Jesus’ disposal, a small thing, a little thing, for him to use her for his beautiful purposes of loving and transforming the world.
In the gospel reading today, Jesus is in a lonely place. There is little there, and his disciples think that there is little that can be done to feed the hungry hordes. How often have we or others dismissed people or whole communities as having nothing to offer? Jesus, though, is not, is never, dismayed by the little we have. After all, everything we have that is good comes from God, and so everything can and will be used for his purposes.
In the Eucharist, we offer such little things to God, we offer bread and wine, and he, in receiving them, transforms them and gives them to us as the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood. This work continues as we become what we have received, Christ’s Body in the world. God’s grace works in our lives, transforming us to be more beautifully the Body of Christ so that we in turn, as little as we are, can be a source of God’s transformation of the world.
God our Father, so often we overlook the small things of our lives and yet your grace works within us, surprising us, surpassing even our greatest expectations. Open our eyes and hearts to your transforming love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.