From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “broken”

Lectio Divina: “broken”

Gospel reading: Mark 6.34-44

As he went ashore, [Jesus] saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.


We are back in lockdown, and once again locked out of our places of worship. I have returned to watching Holy Communion from the Cathedral on Sunday mornings, and sharing bread and wine remotely as an ‘agape meal’. Last Sunday, at the point where the President breaks the bread, I spontaneously took and broke my piece of bread as well. It was unexpectedly affecting, giving me an overwhelming sense of the part I and my sin played in the breaking of Jesus’ body on the cross.

Yet in Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich described how happy Jesus was to have suffered and how, if he could have, he would have done even more. And here in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is doing the blessing and breaking.

It was as though Jesus was saying to me, “Yes, you are broken, and I am happy to be broken for you; you are broken, and so are you and you and you, and I am happy to be broken for you all. And just as my disciples gathered up twelve baskets full of broken pieces, so I will gather up all of you broken pieces into my Kingdom so that none of you are lost.”


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.