Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Ephesians 4:17, 20- 24
I took the day off Wednesday to spend it with my 92-year-old Father, and two of my brothers at Greenfield Village. As we pushed dad around in a wheelchair and we looked at the exhibits, it provided dad an opportunity to remember a time in his life growing up on a farm that was a simpler time for him. In all of his stories, he romanticized how much better those days were in his life. The three of us kept saying, “But dad, you had to use an outhouse, you only had a pot belly stove to heat the house, and there was no internet? For dad this did not matter, he wanted to remember all the good things about his past life. It is good to have places like Greenfield Village to go to visit to remember the past, and it is good for my dad to remember this simpler time in his life but our readings challenge us to know of God’s presence right now in our lives.
In our first reading from the Book of Exodus, the people have just begun their journey into the desert when they begin to grumble to Moses and Aaron because they do not have enough food. The people say, “We can remember being in Egypt and how wonderful it was to have enough food to eat and water to drink.” The Israelites total gloss over the hardship of being held as slaves by the Egyptians, and they want to go back to Egypt. What God wants them to know at this time is that He is forming them into a community of believers in His name.
In our second reading, St. Paul is encouraging the people to put away their former ways of life and put on the new way of living in Christ. We need to do the very same thing right now which too is to eliminate anything that prevents us from being the community of God. We do this by asking ourselves, “What is our last secret that no one knows?” What sinful thing have we done in the past that needs to change?
In our Gospel the people say, “Jesus, when did you get here?” Jesus responds by saying, “I have been here all along! Where have you been and what are you looking for now?” These people who just the day before was fed until they were full have already forgotten that miracle. Jesus questions them about following him because they are physically hungry or are they spiritual hungry?
My friends in Christ, it is ok to look to remember things of our past, but what God wants for us to do is to know right now what God is trying to do in our lives right now! Here is a good case in point! When this bread and wine are brought forward blessed and prayed over, “Do we just see bread and wine or do we believe that it the Body and Blood of Christ?” Do we know when we believe that it truly is the Body and Blood of Christ that God always gives us more than what we have asked for, now that is true faith? May we believe in that truth.