It began with a handful of grain – scattered carelessly in the field...
Not a big handful you understand...you wouldn't have noticed it falling on the soil - but nonetheless, through the grace of the Creator it sprouted and grew and in time there was a patch of corn...
Not a whole field, but a good few ears, which when harvested produced enough to grind to make a sack of flour
Not that much flour – nobody would have struggled to carry the sack home from the mill – but still it was enough for a family to thank God as they made their bread for a few months
Nothing spectacular in all of that.
The stuff of ordinary life.
You'd wouldn't bother to turn your head to look...not at the grain, nor the corn, nor the flour...not even at the fresh baked bread which made the whole kitchen smell so good.
5 loaves, wrapped up to make a picnic for a child...a child off exploring in the hill country, running free, but pausing, his attention held by the man telling wonderful stories to the crowd.
Just one small child
And one packed lunch
Nothing spectacular here either...
But when the moment came, when there WAS no food for all those gathered....that one ordinary boy dared to offer himself, with all that he had, to the Teller of Tales
That small basket, packed with a small boy's lunch – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – was taken, blessed, broken open and distributed
And somehow, beyond all expectations, by the grace of God it was enough.
So it is with us.
We bring nothing spectacular to God's table...
Ordinary people, bringing ordinary hopes, ordinary fears and broken dreams...
Nothing to offer, really – but if we dare....if we truly offer ourselves, with all that we have and all that we are
Then, we too can be blessed, broken, distributed....and find ourselves transformed beyond all hopes and expectations...
Blessed by God as we meet Him in the bread and wine of Eucharist
Blessed to go out and be a blessing in our turn
Augustine said to his confirmation candidates, as they brought bread and wine to the altar at the Offertory - “there YOU are on the altar...You are to be taken, blessed, broken, distributed so that the work of the Incarnation may go forward”