Thought of the Day December 1, 2017 Oases on our journey

By 9:40 AM

As a way of helping us confront sin, God leads us to a number of oases during our journey, places where we find deep springs. These are not meant to be final resting places, but aids on the journey. What are these oases? God feeds us, not with manna which lasts for one day, but the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, our life-giving food for the spiritual journey. How often have we taken this gift for granted or treated it as something mundane and ordinary? How often have we failed to recall the words of Jesus in the Gospel? "I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world....Let me solemnly assure you, he who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:51-54). If we understood the gift, we will yearn and hunger for this gift daily. Even if we feel nothing during the moments following the reception of Eucharist, being grateful and consciously present to the sacramental presence of God within us in faith will be like a source of energy and strength working unseen within us. Without this Bread of Life we will surely die in the desert.

The Israelites experienced the gift of water from the rock when they complained that they were dying of thirst in the desert. We experience many graces on our journey, graces which we seem unaware of because they seem so ordinary or so expected. Because they are graces for and of the moment and not the once-in-the -lifetime, extraordinary graces we take very little notice. But again without these graces--unmerited favors from God--we would not be able to survive the journey ahead.

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