Monday, August 03, 2009

Watchamacallit

It's always special when the Sunday Mass readings are mirrored during the week. That happens only occasionally because there is a three year cycle of Sunday readings, but only a two year cycle of first readings for weekdays. This week, though, we hit the liturgical jackpot. Yesterday's first reading about the manna and quail in the desert skipped right over the part we read today: the complaints of the Israelites about the boring food and lack of meat. So in a way, today we got the backstory of yesterday's reading. And yesterday's Sunday Gospel was from the magnificent "Bread of Life" discourse which John positions precisely after the story of...today's event of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. So the liturgy today invites us to review yesterday's readings, and maybe fill in the blanks a little in terms of how much we actually "got" of the message. Since this is the mystery of the Eucharist we are ultimately talking about, prefigured in the manna and the multiplied bread and fish, we'll never run out of reasons to go back again and again, trying to "get" it in a new way, in a new "place" in our hearts.
On a more superficial (but fun) note, I think it is interesting that the word "manna" is really Hebrew for "Whatchamacallit." They didn't know what the stuff was that they found on the desert floor every morning, but Moses told them it was edible, so they worked it with a mortar and pestle and made something identifiable with it. Sometimes that's what you have to do with the things that come your way in life. They don't match your expectations, your desires, or even your prayers, and yet somehow, they become just the nourishment you need.
Even if you can never quite give it a name.

1 comment:

Ms. C (Carleigh Bedell) said...

I really like what you did with that post. I like the closing paragraph rather a lot. *smile*