the manna test
"I will now rain down bread from heaven for you." —Exodus 16:4
God rained manna down on His people. Manna, the miraculous bread which God provided to Israel for forty years, was "fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground" (Ex 16:14). Jesus proclaimed that the manna of the New Testament, "the real heavenly bread" (Jn 6:32), is the bread of God's word (Mt 4:4). Jesus also proclaimed: "This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and died nonetheless, the man who feeds on this bread shall live forever" (Jn 6:58). This bread is Jesus' "flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51), that is, Holy Communion. In the new covenant, we can receive the new, "hidden" (Rv 2:17), and ultimate Manna, Jesus Himself, the Bread of life (Jn 6:35).
When the Lord rained manna down on His people, He tested them to see whether they would follow His instructions or not (Ex 16:4). In the new covenant, when the Lord rains down on us the manna of His word and His body and blood, He is testing us to see whether or not we will not only hear His word but also do it (Jas 1:22). The Lord gives us the new manna of His word and the Eucharist to see whether we will live a eucharistically centered life and bear fruit in a hundredfold harvest (Mt 13:8).
Are you passing the manna test? Are you following all of Jesus' instructions, not just in the letter of the law but in the Spirit? (2 Cor 3:6) Abide in God's word (Jn 8:31); live in communion with Him; pass the manna test.
Prayer: Father, may I delight in obeying You (see Ps 40:9).
Promise: "Let everyone heed what he hears!" —Mt 13:9
Praise: St. Lawrence used his ability to learn languages as a means of leading people to Christ.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998