Remember how, in the musical Oliver, the orphans sing “Food, Glorious Food!”
Food. Junk food and health food.
Food that we consume as couch potatoes.
People – you and I - use food to control uncontrollable factors in our lives: We might not have a good relationship, but we can have a good steak!
Sometimes, probably rarely, we dine with power. Sometimes we stuff ourselves.
We eat to forget, to remember, to feel comforted, to be sociable.
Sometimes we eat because we are truly hungry.
Sometimes we eat to gain strength for the journey – real soul food.
Sometimes we eat to survive.
Food is something we never tire of having, reading about or talking about.
Beginning on July 26 and for four more weeks, the Sunday Gospels are from John 6 - that portion of the Gospel in which Jesus feeds the many and then is challenged because he says “I am the true bread that comes down from heaven.”
We can concentrate on John 6 or we can read it with other passages that remind us how pervasive bread is In various parts of the Scripture. The Bible is full of reminders, easy to memorize, valuable to underscore the place and power of spiritual food in our lives. Here are a few such sentences, culled and rephrased, that are packed with wisdom for us to help us grow this summer:
My will is to do the will of my Father. Jesus was clear about that. He recognized that His Father’s will is that the world be safe and healthy for all people, that justice be done and that mercy and compassion be the way we address and embrace the suffering we encounter along the way.
We must become food for others: given and consumed. Sometimes we are consumed for a short time. Sometimes we are totally consumed.
We do not live on bread alone. Each day, each of us receives manna, in many ways – a word of peace which calms us, a newspaper headline, a stirring within, a phone call from a stranger asking us to serve in a new way, an experience which refines our hearts or lends clarity to our vision.
And finally: The Lord will give us the bread we need. Study your own lives and see how you have been fed with the bread you needed when you needed it.
Be ready this summer for tasty spiritual food to peak our appetite for God.
~Sister Joan Sobala