The true miracle is there before our eyes

      Remember when we were younger? It seemed as if we could eat anything and survive. Potato chips, sugary sodas, desserts, fast food. I had one classmate while I was at Blessed Sacrament school who ate nothing but pretzels – every day – for lunch. I remember relating this to my mother and asking why she couldn’t be more open to those kinds of lunch.

      I just received the “stare.”

      Another student went right for her Twinkie or Ding Dongs, bypassing any healthier choices in her lunchbox. In high school, we enjoyed going out to lunch with friends. One would always order a huge plate of French fries and ask for a side of mayonnaise as a dip. Nothing else, just that plate of greasy fries.

      Thankfully, as a whole, we seem to have become more conscious of how we feed our bodies, especially as we grow older and worry about things like high blood sugar, cholesterol levels and clogged arteries.

      It brings to mind that saying that’s been around forever: we are what we eat. Science tells us that food is not only our energy source but it’s also key to healing and regenerating our cellular structure. Which brings to mind another old saying: Garbage in; garbage out.

      So what does this have to with anything, you might ask?

      This whole notion of being fed and the concept that we are what we eat came to mind with this week’s readings.

      In the first (Ex 16:2-4, 12-15), we listen to the community of Israelites complaining to Moses. They’re wandering lost in the desert; they’re hungry. They would rather be enslaved in Egypt and fed than out in this God forsaken desert starving.

      God hears their complaints. In the evening, he sends birds to eat. In the morning, the dew turns to “fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground,” manna from heaven.

      But they couldn’t comprehend what it was; the failed to see the importance of this gift from heaven. Moses had to explain: “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”

      We’re hunger, but for most of us, it’s not so much a physical hunger but rather a spiritual one. We cry out, we moan, we grumble that the Lord doesn’t recognize our needs when what we truly need is right there in front of us – bread from heaven to satisfy our every spiritual craving. The Body and Blood of Christ.

      In the Gospel, the crowds, like the Israelites of old, cry out and ask, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you?” Despite the recent miracle of the loaves and fishes, they still question that God is working in their lives, in their midst.

      Is that what we do? Do we line up for Comm ever week, mindless of the gift being placed in our very hands? Are we as clueless as the Israelites in the desert or the crowds following Jesus? Here for the taking is the nourishment for which we long, the bread of heaven. And yet we still grumble and ask for a sign.

      Jesus says it quite succinctly, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

      What other miracles do we need? We are what we eat.


     Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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