"He must not be allowed to put out his hand...and thus eat of it and live forever." —Genesis 3:22
God provided wonderful food for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Gn 1:29-30; 2:16-17). However, Adam and Eve wanted control of the menu. So they ate the food God had forbidden them to eat (Gn 3:11). Because of their rebellion, God would not allow humanity to eat of the food of the tree of life, which would cause them to live forever (Gn 3:22).
However, God so loved the world that He sent His only Son (Jn 3:16). At Calvary, Jesus was nailed to the tree of life. He left us a new food, His own body and blood, the Eucharist. In Jesus, God offers us a new chance to eat from the tree of life that grows in His garden (Rv 2:7). Now we are once again allowed to eat of food that will enable us to live forever (Jn 6:51, 54).
Through Jesus, eating has been transformed. The Mass is now the new Eden, the new Passover, the new paradise. In the Mass, our "deserted" lives (Mk 8:4) are nourished as Jesus feeds us with food that fills and satisfies us perfectly (see Wis 16:20; Ps 145:16).
Adam and Eve ate to please themselves. In the Eucharist, we eat to please Jesus. The Lord asks us: "When you were eating and drinking, was it not for yourselves that you ate, and for yourselves that you drank?" (Zec 7:6) Are you eating forever-food (Jn 6:58) or perishable food (Jn 6:27)? Repent of any rebellion against God's menu-planning. Accept Jesus as the Lord of your eating.
Prayer: Father, I renounce the food "of corruption and wickedness" and devote my life to eating the Eucharist, the "Bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Cor 5:8).
Promise: "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd." —Mk 8:2
Praise: Sts. Cyril and Methodius were blood brothers and apostles to the Slavic nations. They translated the Bible into the Slavic language.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008
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