21 June 2014


deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a; 1 corinthians 10:16-17; john 6:51-58

ronald ronheiser, in «eucharist as new manna», writes about a friend’s description of alcoholics anonymous meetings: «the meetings are always the same. everything is totally predictable; everyone, except those who are there for the first time, know already what will be said. but i don’t go to alcoholics anonymous meetings for novelty. i go because, if i don’t, i know that i will start drinking again… i go there to stay alive!»

ronheiser opines that this can be a description of the eucharist! among other reasons, we go to the eucharist to stay alive. it is GOD’s daily (or weekly) manna that keeps us alive in the desert of our lives. 
in the gospel, JESUS tells the peoplewho came searching for him after he fed the five thousandthat he is the bread of life. he links the eucharist to the manna with which GOD fed israel during her sojourn in the desert. the israelites found it boring; they complained about the routine food; they yearned for novelty… but it was the «boring and routine» manna that sustained them and kept them alive.

the eucharist—the body and blood of JESUS—is the new manna GOD gives us to sustain us. perhaps we find it boring and routine; perhaps we crave novelty and creativity. but it is in the ordinary ritual that GOD sustains us and gives us life. 

will i go to the daily/weekly eucharist, and allow the sometimes boring routine to keep me alive?