God gave the Israelites manna in the desert. Without that miraculous food, they would have starved to death. It literally kept them alive. But, human nature kicked in. They grew tired of the manna and began to complain. “We want more options. We want more variety.” Manna, no matter how miraculous, was no longer good enough.
Jesus took a few fish and some loaves of bread and miraculously fed thousands of hungry people. They followed him around wanting even more. “God gave our ancestors manna in the desert. What sign can you give us? What can you do?” They had just been miraculously fed, but they wanted more. The miracle of the fish and loaves wasn’t good enough for them.
Jesus told them He would provide the true food and true drink of His flesh and blood to sustain their eternal life. They lacked understanding. Many then turned away from Him, and the betrayal of Judas took root at this point. For many of Christ’s disciples, His flesh and blood were not good enough. They wanted more. At the Last Supper, Jesus pointed out Judas as the betrayer, and showed the apostles the miracle of the Eucharist. He had told them earlier that they would need to eat His flesh and blood, and now He showed them how to do it in a miraculous manner.
Manna was not good enough for the Israelites. The miracle of the fish and the loaves was not good enough for the multitudes following Jesus around. His flesh and blood were not good enough for many of His disciples. Human nature has not changed much. His flesh and blood are still not good enough for many Christians today. They want more. More programs, more coffee, more doughnuts, more music, more excitement, more Bible studies, more interesting preaching, more miracles, etc.
What more can Jesus give than His very flesh and blood poured out and crucified for our forgiveness and salvation? What is more miraculous than the God of the universe humbling Himself in the form of bread and wine in order to spiritually and physically unite with His own, spiritual/physical creations? Add the other six sacraments and we not only have life, but life more abundantly. Why do we grumble? Don’t we have enough? We don’t even deserve what we do have. Do we really believe? God help our unbelief.
Great post! As humans, we are never satisfied until we recieve the Lord Himself!
I have not been Catholic, but I have cried in front of the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica … so beautiful and moving. I have been Anglican and taken the sacraments with satisfaction and hope. My hope is that we will become less anxious, less grasping, less demanding, less near-sighted as you describe above. Instead may we become focused on understanding the diversity of belief that exists among us and learn to practice tolerance. Only then will be able to understand what our faith in God really means..
Thank you. I agree that diversity, understanding and tolerance are essential ingredients of the global, universal Church. We can’t really love without them. At the same time, there are those who use those very descriptors to promote what Pope John Paul II called “the spirit of the age” which is relativism. The antithesis of the Pieta is Pilot’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” The Pieta moves the human heart because of the truth it expresses. Pilot’s question confuses the human heart. Both preach a certain type of tolerance. There is a tolerance which says, “You are permitted to be wrong as part of your journey in discovering truth.” This is Jesus saying from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Then there is the tolerance which says, “Everyone is right as they see fit. No one is really wrong in what they believe, as long as they are sincere.” That is Pilot asking Jesus, “What is truth?”
So, I am wary of the words “tolerance” and “diversity” since they are so often used in an attempt to derail the Church’s mission of preserving and promoting Truth. In your case, I’m assuming nothing but the best of intentions with the use of those words. May your journey of hope and satisfaction continue. Thank you for reading my blog. Peace!