Mass Reading & Meditation for July 24, 2013
Meditation: Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
“This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)
Imagine that you grew up very poor, and always had to scrabble for your next meal. But now you’ve been flown to a wealthy country, and have been taken to a lavish all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner. When you arrive, the host welcomes you in with open arms and a warm smile.
He walks you to the buffet and invites you to eat and drink freely. You’re overwhelmed by the spread—it’s so foreign to you! As you move down the line, you see so many dishes filled with all kinds of new foods. You don’t dare take too much, because you’ve spent your whole life rationing every bite. But your host encourages you not to worry. There will be plenty for tomorrow and the next day as well.
As you help yourself to the first serving, you break into a smile and start laughing heartily. The anxieties that have burdened your heart for so long begin to diminish. As you take up another serving from another plate, you begin to feel peace and contentment. You can’t seem to get enough.
Just as he fed the Israelites in the desert, Jesus wants to feed us as well—only now with spiritual food. He wants to feed our souls with heavenly wisdom and guidance. He wants to our hearts with servings of joy, love and peace. He wants to nourish us so that we can find the strength to move mountains and accomplish all the wonderful things he has called us to do.
Where will we find this food? In the Eucharist, of course! Just as the manna seemed to drop from the sky, so the presence of Christ comes down from heaven every time the Mass is celebrated. And just as the manna seemed inconsequential—just a thin layer on the ground—but gave the Israelites all the strength they needed, so too with the Host that we receive at Mass. How wonderful of God to feed us so generously—so miraculously!
Listen! God is calling out to you right now: “Come without payment or cost (Isaiah 55:1). Come and receive all the good things I have ready for you. There’s always plenty of food to keep you satisfied!”
“Lord, I feast on the table you set before me. Thank you for your love and generosity!”
Psalm 78:18-19, 23-28; Matthew 13:1-9