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Sunday, August 13, 2006

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:4-8
Ephesians 4:30—5:2
Psalm 34
John 6:41-51

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food for the journey

"Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!" —1 Kings 19:7

God is a Father, and a father feeds his children. Accordingly, God the Father always feeds us, His children. God gave Adam and Eve plentiful food in the garden of Eden. He miraculously fed the Israelites manna and quail for forty years. He fed Elijah miraculously on numerous occasions (1 Kgs 17:6, 15-16; 19:6). Finally, God sent His Son Jesus as Food, which He indicated by having the baby Jesus laid in a manger, which is a feeding trough.

Sadly, humans have always been dissatisfied with God's food. We prefer the food of slavery, such as onions, leeks, cucumbers, and garlic (Nm 11:5) to the food of freedom, which is the life-giving, miraculous nourishment God freely provides. When we grumble because we have to fast for an hour before Sunday Eucharist, we are like the complaining Israelites in the desert who couldn't see the daily miracle of manna because their mind was on the salad bar. Incredibly, some Catholics even leave the Church because "they aren't being fed"! How can anyone abandon the cosmic miracle of the eucharistic Jesus, "the Bread That comes down from heaven for a man to eat and never die"? (Jn 6:50)

If our mind is on our belly (Phil 3:19), we can be like Esau (see Gn 25:29ff) and trade the living Eucharistic Bread of the Catholic Church for a hearty potluck supper somewhere else. God the Father has been insulted for centuries by His children snubbing His food. Don't insult the Father. Jesus commands us: "Take this and eat it"! (Mt 26:26)

Prayer:  Father, I will eat all You provide with thanksgiving.

Promise:  "Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame." —Ps 34:6

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who gives us life by His death!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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