First Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16

Manna from Heaven

How has God cared for you? How have you responded to his care?

2 You shall remember all the way which YHWH your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. 3 He humbled you, and allowed you to be hungry, and fed you with manna, which you didn't know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH.

14b Do not forget YHWH your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where there was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint;16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers didn't know; that he might humble you, and that he might prove you, to do you good at your latter end.

World English Bible

In a long discourse/commentary on the Law, Moses used the language of parent and child to symbolize the Exodus experience. God cared for his people, as a father cared for his dependent children. In his wisdom, he provided everything the people needed for the long journey, including food. Yet, even this dependent relationship had a point: life required, not only food, but the Word of God. [8:2-3]

However, dependence was a two-edged sword. It could encourage trust. Or, it could spawn pride, resentment, and rebellion. Even in dependence, the people had a choice. So, Moses gave a brief history of God's initiative. "Remember," Moses said to the people, "remember how God cared for you!" In the end, the water from the rock and the manna from heaven were signs of God's compassion. But, even they were a means to an end: a relationship with God. [8:14b-16]

Eucharist is a sign of God's compassion. It reminds us what God has done and will do for us. But, it, too, is a means to an end. As the full presence of the risen Lord, it can bring us into a deep relationship with God. We only need to depend upon God, trust him as his child, to make it so.

When you receive Eucharist this Sunday, reflect on what God has done in your life.