Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The children of Israel in today’s first reading had a rather selective memory. Not content with the miraculous manna given to them as food from the Lord who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt, they dwell with nostalgia on the menu they had back in the land of servitude. “We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.” (Nm 11:5) Yet, they do not remember the suffering endured, nor how the Lord had delivered them from the hands of their persecutors. In the face of their complaints, Moses asked to have his life taken in order to be freed from dealing with ‘such distress.’ (Nm 11:15)
Faced with the hungry masses which had followed Christ into the wilderness, the disciples also wanted simply to be rid of them, to have the crowds go back to the villages. But Christ shows how He is the Provident Lord. He will take care of the hunger of His People. He pities them when He sees them hungry. He gives those who follow Him the means of serving even the most basic needs of their neighbor. Today, let us be grateful to God who in His Providence has met our most basic needs, who has fed us, who has given us to drink, to be clothed, housed, and who will never cease in His love to take care of us. Let us also seek to cooperate consciously with Him as we attend to the needs of our brothers and sisters.