"Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the Bread that comes down from heaven for a man to eat and never die." —John 6:49-50
When it comes to food, God provides and man derides. God gave Adam and Eve all kinds of good food in the garden of Eden (Gn 2:16). Sadly, their craving to eat beyond what God provided led to mankind's downfall (Gn 3:6).
God then provided miraculous manna to the Israelites when they were stranded in the desert (Ex 16:14ff). He "furnished them bread from heaven, ready to hand, untoiled-for, endowed with all delights and conforming to every taste" (Wis 16:20). The manna even "was blended to whatever flavor each one wished"! (Wis 16:21) All this revealed God's sweetness toward His children (Wis 16:21). However, the Israelites in the desert soon wearied of this miraculous, tasty fare. They were "disgusted with this wretched food" (Nm 21:5) that God provided. They wanted meat, fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Nm 11:4-5).
Then, God once again provided His children with miraculous Bread from heaven. The infant Jesus came down from heaven and was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough. This intimates that Jesus is Food. His "flesh is real food" (Jn 6:55). To make it unmistakable, Jesus proclaims: "I am the Bread of Life...I Myself am the Living Bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:48, 51). Jesus in the Eucharist is God's ultimate banquet. Will we reject this heavenly food? Or, will we gratefully eat what God provides?
Prayer: Father, may what enters and leaves my mouth be totally under Your lordship.
Promise: "Philip launched out with this Scripture passage as his starting point, telling him the good news of Jesus." —Acts 8:35
Praise: After several years of meeting Jesus at Mass on his lunch hour, John entered the seminary and became a priest.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015
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