Are you hungry? Today’s readings focus a lot on food. We have a rather interesting approach to food in United States. Far too often, I think people in the US see a meal as that thing to rush through very quickly to get to the important part of life. After all, we are the people who invented fast food. But today’s readings provide an interesting contrast between the God who longs to Fill us more completely than we can possibly imagine, and people who have been filled spiritually, but have neglected the body.
To be sure, Isaiah writing in the first reading, describes a scene where everything is plentiful. There’s no concern about calories, or eating right or wrong foods. Rather God is so generous that whatever the body needs to be drawn into eternal salvation is given it. This is not just the giving of food that satisfies until the next meal, but rather concerns the giving of what is needed for eternal life. It is in that context that we hear the tremendous joy at the end of the reading. God has saved us!
In the Gospel, Desperate people with all sorts of calamities and illnesses come to Jesus for deep healing. Their suffering is so intense, but there first concern does not seem to be making sure they get enough to eat. Rather, it is to come to the person of Jesus to Leah’s feet, and to receive the tremendous healing he longs to give each one of us.
In fact, the question of food that Jesus poses to the disciples, is not primarily about what to eat. It is rather, to show us, through the disciples, God is one who can meet all our needs. It is not to suggest that we should ignore the physical concerns of our body. It is good for us here on earth to watch will be eat, to exercise, and to do those things that are necessary to help us to be healthy.
But it is to recognize that you and I are destined for greater things. For the correct living of our lives, open to the gift of life, by living so our hearts are ready to receive the tremendous gifts of God’s spirit, we are called to receive the gift of life that lasts forever.