keeping promises in the promised land
“On that same day after the Passover on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. No longer was there manna for the Israelites, who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.” —Joshua 5:11-12
Each day for forty years, God fed the Israelites with miraculous manna from heaven. When they had entered the promised land and their first harvest was complete, “the manna ceased” (Jos 5:12). What a loving, providing Father our God is!
For the forty days of Lent, we, like the Israelites, are journeying through the desert of self-denial toward the promised land of Easter. Many draw close to God with spiritual exercises such as increased prayer, fasting, increased participation in Confession and daily Masses, intense Bible reading, etc. These nourish our Lenten resolve much like the manna God provided in the desert.
When the Israelites reached the promised land, they rejoiced. Yet they now faced a new trial. With their newfound abundance came the temptation to stop relying on God’s care (e.g. Ps 78:56ff). Over time, the Israelites tended to be like the prodigal son: they often forgot God in prosperity, but turned to Him in time of trial (see Lk 15:13, 16ff).
Decide today to follow the Lord in “every circumstance,” whether “well provided for” or not (Phil 4:12). May your Lenten sufferings and your Easter renewal of your Baptismal promises lead you to lifelong covenant faithfulness to God (see Jer 31:31).
Prayer: Father, “may my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember You not” (Ps 137:6). Never let me forget you in time of abundance (Prv 30:9).
Promise: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new!” —2 Cor 5:17
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus, the Promise Keeper (2 Cor 1:20). You are “the Faithful Witness” (Rv 3:14).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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