August 09, 2009

Strength for the Journey

Today, Elijah is ready to give up (1 Kgs 19:4-8) when he's provided with food to strengthen him. He travels a day's journey into the desert, which puts him under the broom tree, asleep, at night. In the night, the hearth cake appears for him to eat - bread from Heaven, like the manna that appeared to the Israelites during their wandering in the desert.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus teaches about that bread. The manna that came down for the Israelites was food from Heaven, yet the Israelites still died. Elijah received bread and yet died. Now Jesus offers new bread - the bread of life - and He tells us what it is. "I am the bread that came down from Heaven" and "I am the bread of life" He tells us.

We are all on a journey home to Heaven, and we're instructed just as the angel instructed Elijah. "Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!"

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