Manna for the Day

Painting by Lou Schmitt

The American Catholic bishops are writing a letter on the Eucharist. Some say there’s a tinge of politics behind it, but the spokesman for the bishops says it meant to address the decline in devotion to the Eucharist.

Our daily readings offer wisdom for the day, which may help as we consider the mystery of the Eucharist. 

These days the Old Testament readings from the  Book of Numbers have the children of Israel complaining about the manna as they make their way through the desert. It just doesn’t measure up to the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic, fish and meat of Egypt. “We see nothing before us but this manna,” they say.

Their desert journey and memories of Egypt blind them to the steady simple presence of God and signs of it. They are looking for more security and a quick arrival to the promised land. Has our journey today, like theirs, the losses we’ve sustained, the dreams denied blinded us to the promise of God’s kingdom and the way it comes?

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God,

and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.Day unto day takes up the story

and night unto night makes known the message.No speech, no word, no voice is heard

yet their span extends through all the earth,

their words to the utmost bounds of the world.” (Psalm 18)

The Eucharist is daily bread, it tells its story each day…No speech, no word, no voice is heard.”  It’s linked to God’s Kingdom that come quietly, like the seed that inches through the ground. That’s why I prefer its simple celebration in the Mass, with the readings of the day.

1 thought on “Manna for the Day

  1. fdan

    Dear Father Victor, thank you for the up close version of the painting. I’m enjoying gazing at the image and meditating on the mystery of the Eucharist. One question, Is that a depiction of Judgment Day contained in the bread?

    Liked by 1 person

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