“The people complained against God and Moses...In punishment the Lord sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died.” —Numbers 21:5-6
Hundreds and thousands of Israelites were repeatedly destroyed because of their sins (see 1 Cor 10:8-10; Nm 25:1-9; 14:37). Their basic sin was idolatry, and a significant part of this sin was their craving for the food of slavery. They wanted meat, fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic (Nm 11:4-5), grain, figs, grapes, and pomegranates (Nm 20:5). The Israelites were disgusted with the “wretched” food God gave them (Nm 21:5). They complained about the manna God miraculously gave them each day for free.
Is an inordinate desire for food contributing to the sin of idolatry in your life? Ezekiel prophesied: “They shall not be allowed to satisfy their craving or fill their bellies, for this has been the occasion of their sin” (Ez 7:19). Paul spoke of people who “will end in disaster! Their god is their belly and their glory is in their shame” (Phil 3:19). He was talking about “enemies of the cross” (Phil 3:18), “those who are set upon the things of this world” (Phil 3:19). Paul warned us to avoid the company of those who cause dissension and scandal through deception and flattery (Rm 16:17-18). “Such men serve, not Christ our Lord, but their own bellies” (Rm 16:18). “My little children, be on your guard against idols” (1 Jn 5:21), including the idol of food.
Prayer: Father, as I fast this Lent, make me aware of temptations to gluttony and idolatry.
Promise: “You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world — a world which cannot hold Me. That is why I said you would die in your sins. You will surely die in your sins unless you come to believe that I AM.” —Jn 8:23-24
Praise: Phil confessed his addiction to unhealthy “comfort food” and began fasting for other addicts.
Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from February 1, 2023 through March 31, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio June 15, 2022"
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