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The Israelites in today’s first reading from the Book of Exodus had been released from centuries of servitude in Egypt. And yet, because they were hungry, we read that, “The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron, (saying), ‘Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt . . . as we ate our fill of bread!’”
The Lord provided for their hunger. He gave them quail in the evening and a type of bread in the morning.
Still, as we read in the Book of Numbers, the Israelites got tired of having the same food day after day. And of that food that the Lord provided, they said, “We are disgusted with this wretched food” (Numbers 12:5).
May we never be ungrateful for the blessings that the Lord provides. He gives us the freedom of the children of God, free to do His will. He gives us the bread that lasts for eternity and feeds us with His Body, broken for us and His Blood, shed for us.
In the Gospel, the crowds came looking for Jesus because he had just fed them on the hillside. They want more from Jesus to feed their stomachs. But Jesus begins to raise their minds to a new level of awareness of what he can give to them. He can give them so much more than common bread. He can and he will feed them with the Eucharist, of which he says, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
May we never be ungrateful for the Holy Mass that he uses to feed us with this special Bread from Heaven.
Mother Theresa once commented in one of her books, “The spiritual poverty of the Western world is much greater than the physical poverty of [Third World] people. You in the West have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unwanted and unloved ... These people are not hungry in a physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don't know what it is. What they are missing really is a living relationship with God.” (Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit, Harper and Row Publishers, pp. 13-14).
As we come to the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, may we be thankful for the food he gives us — Himself. And may we also appreciate the other ways that the Lord feeds us, in the Bible, in his Church, in the poor, and in those graced moments throughout our lives.
God bless you — and thank you for being such a blessing to me.
Have a blessed week everyone.