Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The feeding of the 5000 and the Exodus

I have a feeling I'm the not the first to notice this and that I'm stealing this from someone but here goes....

Today's readings reminded me of the story of the giving of the manna in Exodus 16. And here's why...

2 Here in the desert the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
3 The Israelites said to them, "Would that we had died at the LORD'S hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!"
It took the Israelites grumbling for God to give them bread. In the gospel, Jesus anticipates their need and freely gives them bread.
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not.
So, this is a test: Will they take more than they need because they don't trust that God will supply the amount that they need tomorrow. Or will they follow God's word.
5 On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days."
In the Gospel, God gives them SEVEN basket's full extra. Here, they are only given one extra portion on the sixth day to prevent work on the sabbath. In Christian typology, Easter (of which the Eucharist is always our connection) is seen as the eighth day, the day of recreation. I think this is pointing to this. God only gave his people extra on the sabbath. But, on the eighth day, the Lord supplies overflowing amounts.
6 So Moses and Aaron told all the Israelites, "At evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, as he heeds your grumbling against him. But what are we that you should grumble against us?
8 When the LORD gives you flesh to eat in the evening," continued Moses, "and in the morning your fill of bread, as he heeds the grumbling you utter against him, what then are we? Your grumbling is not against us, but against the LORD."
They will know that it was the Lord when he gives them his flesh to eat. This is why, as Catholics, we maintain the eucharist as our focal point of worship, because God gives us HIS FLESH and, through that, we know that he has given it to us.

On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

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