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"Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread..."

     Currently in El Salvador the country is in their rainy season. A season where normally floods happen, crops thrive, and people have full supply. However, going there, we saw the exact opposite. They are in a major drought, crops are dying, and the water is being rationed. The existence of climate change is not debated-it's a known fact. Normally the water is rationed- about every 2-3 days people would receive water and store it in large jugs for showers, dishes, and other utility uses. If they turned on the tap, it normally wouldn't spew out water until they get their next supply of water.  However, the week before we arrived water hadn't gotten to the homes, school, and restaurant in a week. Everyone was running out of water. They live with an uncertainty of when they will receive water and therefore, ration water at their own homes, making it last for as long as possible. However, being there, no one ever complained to us about it, we were just informed about it. It is a normal obstacle that they face, and live with.

     Today we are given beautiful readings about the Bread of Life and feeding of manna in the desert. Today's Gospel happens after Jesus fed the five thousand, and walked on water. That is why the people ask him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" In the Gospel, Jesus is answering the questions from the crowd that he fed, who had followed him for more. The people approach Jesus and want more signs. Jesus distinguishes that the crowd is not needing signs for faith, but rather, signs to feed their stomachs. The crowd had not realized the true meaning behind the significant event of feeding the five thousand. As the Gospel progresses, the people demand that Jesus do a sign, like that of Moses and the manna in the desert. But Jesus points out their ignorance and reveals to them that it was not Moses that gave manna, but rather it was God that supplied. Then Jesus continues to point out that it is he that is the "new manna." Manna in the desert was for the Israelites, but now, through Gods gift to the human race, we have Jesus, the bread that came down from heaven to give "life for the world" (Jn 6:33)

     Todays first reading, from the book of Exodus, is probably one of my personal favourites. It is a passage of a peoples weakness, and Gods compassion, and answer to their complaints. The Israelites have been travelling in the desert and have not yet received the ten commandments. The Israelites begin to complain how they would have preferred to stay in Egypt, have food and their comfort than to be free and travelling. God hears their cries for help, and he tests them. He supplies them with quails by night, and manna during the day. The manna however, will spoil if they decide to store it, thus showing that they do not trust that the Lord will supply.



    How often do we become like the people complaining in the desert? So often we can become blinded in our reality to see the Lord working, and feel that the times we are currently in, are the worse they could be. So we begin to doubt the Lord, and question how he could do this to us. How could he bring us out of a life, that we were fine with?  How could he take us away from all the food we could have, and now have none?

    When the Lord speaks to Moses he says specifically, " ...gather enough food for that day" (Ex 16:4). This short part of what God says to Moses resonates that Lords prayer that we say week after week, day after day, "Give us this day, our daily bread."  We pray each time that we trust that the Lord will supply us with what we need to fill our hunger-our spiritual hunger. With this simple phrase, we pray that God will lead us, hear our prayer, and will give us what we need for the day. It is with this phrase that we give God our trust that he will continuously supply for us.

   So often, the answer to our petition is right in front of us. We can also miss Gods answer to our prayers because it is normally disguised in everyday life. The solution is given to us either in others, or in certain events. It can sometimes be that we consider these events has a 'coincidence' or something that happened 'by chance' and it was 'good timing.' However, it wasn't any of these- it was Gods perfect timing. His timing is often mind boggling and confusing, however, the way things happen, is the way God wants them to happen. He is in control of everything. How much are we willing to trust God?

      We are called to completely trust God. When we trust God, and don't hold back, God can work wonders. When we trust God, we begin to receive the manna and quails in the desert. It is when we trust God that our prayers become real and true. True from the heart. Not a prayer simply voiced, but a prayer truly meant from the bottom of our heart. St Edmund once said, "It is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction." When we pray with our hearts, we open ourselves to Christ, we give our complete hope in the Lord. 



   

     Prayer opens our eyes and allows us to see the gifts of God in our lives. It allows us to see that we are surrounded in manna. The Iseralites questioned, "What is it?" when they saw the manna. However, there is a deeper sense to this question, they don't know what it is, but also they don't know where it came from. Both the manna and the Bread of Life came down from heaven, from God. Prayer opens our eyes, and our hearts to be able to know that God has given us Bread to eat, Bread to live, Bread to live eternally. All we need to do is to believe. 

     Today, as we reflect on the mystery of Gods love, and his perfect timing, let us also reflect on Gods timing, and how, at times, we can fail to trust in those timings. May we come to realise that God is always working with us and will never abandon us. May we come to trust in God with our entire heart. May we also come, to say the Our Father, with our hearts. In our heart comes forth love, and trust, and so, we profess to God our trust in him, and our need for the Bread of Life. 

Have a good Sunday!


   

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Hello,

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MIKE

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