Monday, August 3, 2009

Manna from Heaven

I have always wondered why God made the Israelites go hungry before He finally sent them manna and quail from Heaven. This was the topic of this Sunday’s Gospel and, not being able to understand the priest’s thick Jamaican accent, my mind wandered off as I created my own sermon.

I thought about my own meal schedule: 8 AM breakfast, 12PM lunch, 4PM dinner, 8PM dessert. If the kids ask for a snack in between, I will usually say yes to a piece of fruit if it is more than an hour before the next planned meal. Within that hour I usually say no. I don’t want them to ruin their appetites for the nutritious food I have planned. I am not being cruel. I really know that a regular meal schedule is good for them.

Was this the case with God and His People? I cannot believe He would punish them for their grumbling by making them starve to death. Did He just want to make them wait a little longer so they would appreciate his sustenance all the more?

Do you ever have dinner just about ready and the kids start nagging you that they are hungry? Do you get a little annoyed? Or are you pleased that they are hungry for the meal you have slaved over? God had probably planned this little miracle for them all along. Maybe He was annoyed at them for complaining; or maybe He just wanted to hear them ask; or maybe a little bit of both.

Exodus 16 (NAB)

“11 The LORD spoke to Moses and said,

12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,

14 and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. “

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