Good Bread and Foul Fowl

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Ex 16:1-5, 9-15; PS 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28; Mt 13:1-9
Notes: In the daily continuous readings we have been stepping through the Exodus event and the journey in the desert. These miraculous events (Passover, Parting Seas, Manna, etc) are all prefigures of the person and life of Jesus Christ.

This year is a special one that aligns wonderfully, but not perfectly.

  • Daily – Year One (1) – covering the Exodus extensively.
  • Sunday – Cycle B 2021 – five week reading of the Bread of Life Discourse (minus one because August 15th comes on a Sunday this year: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The faithful would benefit greatly by reading daily. The Sunday gospel readings would be so much more helpful to you if you are also reading daily the Mass. Better yet, attending!

The five Sunday treatment of the Bread of Life Discourse is not enough alone to go deeper and more fully into the mystery of the Eucharist.

First reading
The reflection title takes its meaning from the first reading.

Which of the two gifts is of higher value?

  • The Quail – a natural good.
  • The Manna – a supernatural good.
  • Which do they abuse?
  • Which do they abase?

Cross reference Numbers 11:1ff and Numbers 25:1ff (different time, same people).

It is the Manna that was regulated and given a near sacred treatment.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Alleluia Verse
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.

Gospel Portion
The parable of the Sower is today’s gospel portion.

In light of our Bread of Life discourse track we are on, we can relate to the people of the Exodus, can we not?

The Manna and the Quail.

“so the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” Num 21:5

On the quail, ten homers of quail is equal to 10 donkeys fully loaded down with quail to carry. A huge amount. An excessive amount.

But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be chewed, the LORD’s wrath flared up against the people, and the LORD struck them with a very great plague. Num 11:33.

The seed falling on different soil qualities and yielding or not yielding at all is in direct parallel to the receiving of the natural and supernatural goods from the Lord.

It is entirely in our power to receive well or receive poorly and the consequences therein.

  • The Quail – a natural good.
  • The Manna – a supernatural good.
  • Which do they abuse?
  • Which do they abase?

Jesus’ words are all the more powerful:
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

I hear ya.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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