Browsing Pastor's Notes

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, For this is my Body

Take this, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of my Blood

In advance of the National Eucharistic Congress this July, I’m continuing to look at some of the Scriptural precursors of the Eucharist. There are so many which show God’s Plan from the beginning included the Eucharist. Not long after the Passover Feast and Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites found themselves hungry in the desert and complaining against God and Moses. God replied through Moses with the Gift of Manna.

So Moses and Aaron told all the Israelites, “At evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord… “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and in the morning your fill of bread… The Lord said to Moses: I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have your fill of bread, and then you will know that I, the Lord, am your God. In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning there was a layer of dew all about the camp, and when the layer of dew evaporated, fine flakes were on the surface of the wilderness, fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?” for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.

                                                                                                                                     Exodus 16:6-8, 11-15

The Lord God did not simply liberate the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the Lord God accompanied and cared for His Chosen People during their desert days of journeying toward the Promised Land. God does no less for us today as we sojourn in this earthly life until we too Cross over the River Jordan for Heaven. The ways God demonstrated His care are many. Yet, among the most profound was the Daily Bread come down from Heaven – the Manna – from the Hebrew for “What is it?” – a question that can only be properly answered in the gift of the Eucharist. Each day the Israelites would go forth to collect their daily allotment, except on Friday. Then they would gather a double portion to accommodate the Sabbath on which no work could be done. This shows the importance of the pious practice of daily Mass – not just Sunday Mass on the Lord’s Day (since in fact all days of the week are for the Lord). Those who collected more did not have too much and those who collected little, had enough. The Eucharist is not a matter of quantity – whether the large Presider’s host or a quarter or eight of a small host (when they are broken due to an unanticipated crowd at Mass), is always enough. For every crumb and every loaf is fully, truly, really All of Jesus, Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity.

The Gift of Manna remained forever in the Israelite memory. After Jesus miraculously fed the multitude by the multiplying two loaves and a few fish, the people wanted Jesus to fulfill the Messianic expectation for the return of Manna. Jesus does fulfill the prophecy, but not with more bread, but being the Bread. Jesus Himself refers to the gift of Manna as a foreshadowing Himself come down from Heaven. “Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven… I Am the bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6:32, 41). It is this gift of Self, more so than worldly food, that Jesus refers to when He taught His disciples to pray, “Give us today our daily (super-substantial) bread” (Mt 6:11). This is why in Eucharistic Prayer II, when the Holy Spirit is invoked to transubstantiate the bread – the host – into the Eucharistic Body, we pray “Make holy, therefore, these gifts we pray by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall.” It was the morning dew covering the ground that once dried became the Manna to feed and nourish the Israelites. The Holy Spirit now comes upon the bread & leaves behind the Body of Christ.

Finally, it is interesting that the Manna stopped once the Israelites began to eat of the produce of the Promised Land. The Church believes and has consistently taught that there will be no Eucharist in Heaven. There, we will be nourished directly by the Lamb of God, Jesus in Glory. The Manna of Israel in the desert prepared for the Eucharist of us True Christians today

Thanks for your patience while we celebrate Mass together in the Gym. I realize Mass in a gym is not ideal but it is still the same Eucharistic Lord present to us as we gather to give our Thanksgiving to God.


Celebrating 70 years in our church together as the Holy Family of God


Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.

Holy Family, Fed with Manna from Heaven, Pray for us.


~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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