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Daily reading: 1 May

Twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Something to read

What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

- Luke 9:17 from full reading Luke 9: 10-17.

Something to think about

Some of us grew up with the expression ‘waste not, want not’, which was often used when it came to food. Yet there are countless examples of food waste in parts of our world today.

A number of years ago Belfast City Council launched a campaign to reduce the amount of food waste, challenging us living in the city to do something about avoidable waste. It was pointed out that in the UK there's something like 13 billion pounds worth of food wasted each year – that’s 4.4 million tonnes of food!

Imagine this figure globally when we remember that millions of people die of hunger each year.

It’s interesting that the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is recorded in each of the gospels. It is also significant that each of the gospel writers records the detail that the food that is left over is gathered up.

John even tells us the instruction that Jesus gave: ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ (John 6:12) I believe this was because Jesus was concerned not only about those who were hungry, but also that food would not be wasted. 

Something to do

Try to cut down on food waste this week.

Something to pray

God our Father,

Help us to be aware of the abundance in our lives,

help us to notice when we waste food.

Relying on your grace,

may we play our part in cutting down on waste

as we work for a world where all your children have food to eat.


Today’s contributor is Father Martin Magill. Martin is the parish priest in St. John's on the Falls Road, Belfast. He's the co-founder of the 4 Corners Festival, an annual celebration of life across the four corners of Belfast City, and a call to Christians everywhere to reach out to their neighbours. Martin is also a writer, and a regular contributor to both ‘Thought for Today’ and Sunday Sequence on Radio Ulster. He's been lobbying for a residential therapeutic centre for young people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Published on 01 May 2021

Resource language
  • Global
Themes – Areas of work
  • Theology
Bible reference
Luke 9:10-17