Monday, August 6, 2012

Themes from the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My reflections on themes today come from a different starting point than last week's reflections. I wrote several entries about last week's readings. I probably wrote more about one Sunday's readings than I have in a long time. This week, I have been home from Armenia for a week. I have played music. I have baked. I have run a lot. I have taught a lot. I could not ask for much more out of my personal life, and family is doing well too.

And this week, the worship band in which I play was not playing so I could focus all my thoughts on the readings. Or almost all my thoughts--sometimes it is hard with a seven year old.

The biggest thing to notice in the readings this week was the continued discussion of the theme that Jesus is the bread of life. I will comment on that and on Father Ray's homily a bit more later this week. What I want to comment on now is the idea of manna in Exodus.

Why?  Well, last week the type of bread discussed was barley loaves.  This week the type of physical bread (as opposed to symbolic bread with Jesus being the Bread of Life) that was discussed was manna.  The story of Exodus in which the Israelites have gotten annoyed with Moses for taking them out of slavery in Egypt that seemed to have its physical advantages and leading them to the desert to die.  Then God gave them manna.  I actually had to look up the word hoarfrost that appears in the reading.

Why is the variation in types of physical bread interesting?  Because in the past week I'd baked pizza, rolls, pizza again, then banana bread and bagels starting just after 6 AM on the morning when I heard the reading about the manna.

I guess what caught my attention most was the coincidence of the fact that I had made two types of bread on the same morning that the readings discussed two types of bread (one physical and one spiritual) and the way in which God continues to find ways to guide my behavior and give me hope by matching what I am doing with what I am hearing and reading so that what I am hearing and reading makes more sense.

Of course, I suppose it only makes sense when I "connect the dots" in the interesting ways that I choose to, but that is part of how I make sense of the world.  I realize that my way of connecting the dots may not always make sense to others, but, even when it doesn't, perhaps others might find it interesting to ponder and then try to connect the dots in their own way. 

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