Friday, June 9, 2017

give us this day our daily bread

Palladius of Galatia talks to us today about our words matching our actions in A Year with the Church Fathers. And of course we see in Jesus's life this teaching being put into practice perfectly every day.

An interesting question that arises from Palladius's advice is, "What about doing our works in secret? Our right hand not knowing what our left is doing?" If we do our good works away from the eyes of others, how will they know that our actions match our words?

The answer, I believe, is in our motivation. If we are doing good just to receive the rewards of men, we lose our heavenly reward. But if we do good for the purpose of glorifying God, then we are setting our light on a hill so all can see and their lives be illumined.

But that brings up the miracles of Jesus. C.S. Lewis pointed out very astutely that many of the miracles that Jesus performed were simply doing in a moment what God does over time anyway. Healing is one example. God causes us to be healed of our sickness and disease and wounds all of our lives... but Jesus did it instantly. Another example is turning water into wine. Jesus did it instantly. God does it over time every year... taking water from rain and the soil and turning it into grapes, which are then made into wine.

However, it occurred to me this morning when I was listening to a message by Scott Hahn that the miracle Jesus performed at the Last Supper, when He turned the bread and wine into His body and blood, happened every day throughout His whole life in a very natural way. See, when Jesus ate bread, what happened to the bread? It was turned into His body. That's where the cells of our body come from, right? We have no other place to get the matter that forms our bodies than the food we eat. So the bread and wine that Jesus consumed every day were transformed, very naturally, into His body and blood. It's interesting to me to note that the church teaches that when you eat the bread, you are receiving His body AND His blood. And when you drink the wine, you are receiving His body AND blood. When Jesus ate bread and drank wine, they both became His body and blood.

The fact that Jesus did in a moment what God does over time increases our faith. It shows us that Jesus and the Father are in agreement, and what one does agrees with what the other does. It gives us faith to understand that He is still turning bread and wine into His body and blood...only, this time for US to eat and drink. When He ate bread and drank wine, it gave Him physical life. When we eat the bread and wine that are now His body, it brings us eternal life.

God, thank You for giving us glimpses of Your glory in forms that our little brains can understand.