FOOD FOR SOUL

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The  gospel describes the story of a faithful and prudent manager whom  his master has put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time (Lk 12:42). The master will appreciate the faithful servant who executes his given tasks and wait  for  the master’s return, says the Lord. ‘Blessed is the  servant whom his master will find at work when he arrives’ (Lk 12:43). Trustworthiness is the most important trait required from a servant. “It  is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy’ (1 Cor 4:2)

Our Lord ascended into heaven only after appointing  faithful stewards to give those who reside in his house their due allowance of  food at the proper time. And surely he will come again. ‘Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes’ (Lk 12:37).

What kind of food  our Lord has prepared for us? It is the same food  that he ate here on earth. ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about’ (Jn 4:32). Jesus explained to his disciples that  his food was  nothing but  doing  the will of the Father  and to complete the Father’s work (Jn 4:34). The will of  God is  revealed through the Word and the work that  God expects  from  us is also spelled out in the Scripture. In other words the Word is our food. 

‘He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel’ (Eze 3:1). It was with this introduction that God’s word came to Ezekiel. We see a repetition  of this in the book of Revelation also.  ‘So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me. “Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth (Rev 10:9). Yes,  God’s word is  as sweet as   honey and  Ezekiel too testified  it. ‘Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey (Eze 3:3). For Jeremiah, eating  the  Word was sheer delight to his heart. ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart’ (Jer 15:16). It is not   surprising then   that manna, the bread from heaven also  tasted like wafers made with honey (Ex 16:31).

When Jesus came to this world, he promised, and later gave us, a bread loftier than  manna. ‘I am the bread of life……..This is the bread that comes down  from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die (Jn 6: 48-50). Since it was a bit difficult to  digest, Jesus explained  it further saying; ‘for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them’ (Jn 6: 55-56). To keep his word that he will be with us  always, to the end of the age (Mt 28:20) he instituted, and  transformed himself into, the  Holy  Eucharist.

The Church has instructed her priests to celebrate the  ministry of  word and  the ministry of  bread  together in the Holy Mass, for the  reason that  these two together  form the food for our souls and that they should go together. Jesus  has  appointed   servants whom  he found  faithful to  continue this ministry until he comes again.

This mission is  so important that  any laxity on the par of those who are  entrusted with it will attract  severe punishment from God. ‘That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating’ (Lk 12:47).

Let us pray for our priests who are commissioned to serve the Lord’s people with their most essential food.  May  no forces of darkness     distract them from their  first and  foremost duty of  celebrating the  Holy Mass. They need our prayers.  May the  merciful  God grant them the  grace not to indulge in worldly matters, but to stay alert for the  return of the Lord.

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