By Msgr. Charles Pope
Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna. (Numbers 11:4-5)
While it is possible for us to marvel at their insolence and ingratitude, the picture here presented depicts the human condition, and very common human tendencies. It is not unique to a people once in the desert. Their complaints, are too easily our own complaints and struggles.
Let’s look at a number of the issues raised, and see how it is possible for many of us today to struggle in the same way...
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Most eat regularly at the banquet table of popular entertainment, secular news media, secular talk radio, etc. And they eat this food quite uncritically! The manna is complained about, but the melons and leeks are praised without qualification.
And while it is true the Christian cannot wholly avoid any contact with the world, or avoid all its food, when do the melons and leeks ever come in for criticism? When does a Christian finally look and say to themselves and others “Look, that is not the mind of God!” When do they ever conclude that this food is inferior or even poisonous to what God says and offers? When does a parent finally walk into the living room, turn off the TV and teach their children that “What you have just seen and heard is not the mind of God” ?
Tragically, this is rare and the food of this world is eaten in an abundance far surpassing the food of God. The melons and leeks of the world are praised, and the manna of God is put on trial, because it’s not like the food of the world.
This of course, is backwards for a Christian. The world should be on trial based on the Word of God. But as it is, even for most Catholics, the Word of God and the teachings of the Church are on trial by the standards of the world.
So the question is, who is it that feeds you? Is the world, or the Lord? What proportion of your food comes from the Lord, and what from the world? Honestly? What is more influential in your daily life and your thinking, the world, or the Lord? Honestly? Who is really feeding you, informing you, influencing you? Is it the melons and leeks of the Egypt of this world? Or is it the faithful, stable, even miraculous manna of the Lord and his Church?...