The Lord led the people of Israel into the desert. They were liberated from slavery in Egypt. Yet where is their joy and their trust? They were afraid of dying in the desert. They longed for the familiarity of their lives in Egypt, even though their lives there were lived under the bondage of slavery. Where would their shelter be in the desert? How would they eat? Did the Lord lead them into the desert to be led astray or to perish?
The Lord gave them bread from heaven – the psalmist celebrates this event in the psalm response this morning. And we reiterate this request that the Israelites had as we pray to the Lord in the Lord’s prayer – Give us this day our daily bread. Our farmers provide us food to eat through their hard work and through the grace of God. The Lord provides us the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment. We receive our daily bread in the Eucharist, in the sacrament that Jesus established and that has been passed down to us through Tradition in our faith. The Eucharist and the other sacraments of our faith are parts of our sacred liturgy where God is present in our lives as individuals and as a community of faith in a special way. It is not meant to purely be entertainment, it is not meant to be an extravaganza or a show. It is sacred liturgy that has been entrusted to us by God and has been passed down to us by Tradition. In the Eucharist, we receive the bread of heaven. Do we treat it as the bread of heaven?