The 18th Sunday of the Year

Ex 16:2-4 & 12-15; Eph 4:17 & 20-24; Jn 6:24-35 (Year B)

“He rained down manna for their food and gave them the bread from heaven. Mere men ate the bread of angels.”

The story of the manna that sustained the starving tribes of Israel as they fled the enslavement of Egypt was remembered from generation to generation. Its retelling posed a question that all must answer, be they rich or poor, starving or satisfied. For what do we hunger, and where does that hunger lead us?”

We are reminded that the episode of the manna began with the complaints of the people against Aaron and Moses. Why had God brought them from the abundance of Egypt to starve in the wilderness? The gracious love that had delivered them from the hand of slavery was soon forgotten in the craving for instant satisfaction. “Why did we not die at the Lord’ s hand in Egypt where we could eat bread to our heart’ s content?”

It was from within the hunger of their wilderness experience that God revealed himself as the Bread that had come down from heaven, a bread that would not fail. Throughout the country we are preparing for a pilgrimage to Liverpool to celebrate Christ’ s sustaining presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Regardless of whether we are able to attend, we can become a part of this pilgrimage in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The framework for that prayer is to be found in the words of Jesus.

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