7. MANNA IN THE DESERT (1600 BC)

God delivered His people from Egypt by parting the Red Sea and crushing Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites entered the wilderness on their journey to the mountain of God (Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb). With the final goal of returning to the land that was promised to Abraham, God now was planning to form a nation out of His people who lived in trust of Him. To sustain His people on their journey, God sent manna each morning and quail for meat in the evenings. Manna was bread from heaven that appeared in flakes on the ground whenever the wilderness morning dew evaporated. 

When gathering the manna, God told the Israelites that each day they must only gather enough bread to sustain them for that one day. The amount gathered could vary depending on the person, but if they tried to save it longer than a day, the bread would spoil and be full of worms. On the sixth day of the week, the Isrealites were to gather for the next two days since no Manna would fall on the seventh day or Sabbath day. In this way, God taught the Israelites to respect the Sabbath, and trust with their lives that God would provide their food and water everyday. 

Manna was the ‘bread from heaven’ that sustained the Israelites on their journey through the wilderness into the promised land. Jesus who is the true Bread from Heaven instituted the Eucharist as His Body and Blood as our sustenance for our journey through our wilderness of temptation and sin to heaven. In His Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus references the Manna that God sent down to the Israelites and informs the crowds that He is the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world. In instructing them to eat this new manna, Jesus is teaching us that consumption of His Body and blood in the Eucharist is essential for eternal life (John 6:58) . 

As the Israelites make it to the mountain of God and begin their desert wanderings, Manna sustained them for 40 years as they attempted to trust God with their entire lives. In the same way, the life of the Christian is meant to be sustained by the Eucharist until our passage into eternal life, teaching us complete abandonment to the will of our Father. It enables our broken, weary, and tired body and souls to receive the divine life of Jesus and to endure until we reach the heavenly promised land. If God guided the Israelites through the wilderness to the promised land on flaky bread from that appeared after the morning dew, how much more will God guide the soul who has received the true bread from heaven, His Son, to eternal communion with Himself?

Originally published in Prime Soil Magazine | Vol. 1 No. 2

Originally presented at The 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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