We Were Given What Angels and Archangels Could Not Receive
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Jeremiah R. Grosse
Reproduced with Permission

Psalm 78 begins by the psalmist speaking to the reader about the glories of God's action in the lives of His people.It is God's command that we make known to these things to our children so that they do might place their hope in Him and never forget what He has done for us.

In spite of everything that God had done for our ancestors they frequently rebelled against Him. God parted the Red Sea for His people, split the rock in the desert to give them water, and yet still they rebelled against Him. Showing a tremendous lack of gratitude they even put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.

God gave them the food they craved, but while the food was still in their mouths God's anger rose against His people and He struck down the strongest among them. In spite of this, God's people went right on sinning.

Human nature being what it is we continue to ignore God. Instead of seeing the presence of God in one another, we read in the newspaper or see on the evening news how people are murdered for no apparent reason. We tend to worship money, youth, or prestige as though they can bring us happiness or eternal life.We know deep down that no amount of money will add one day to our life; however, it is not uncommon for people to worship at the altar of these false gods and realize when it is too late that they have been worshipping a idol.

In spite of the fact that His people had turned against Him on several occasions during their journey through the desert, He commanded the skies above and opened the doors of Heaven. He rained manna upon them for food and gave them bread from heaven. He also rained meat upon them like dust. Winged birds covered the land like the sand on the seashore.

In regard to the fact that priests have been given the power to forgive sins, St. John Chrysostom, one of the Fathers of the Church, said, "Priests have received an authority which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels." Well, the same is true when it comes to the bread of heaven.

While the people in the desert were given bread from heaven which spoiled after one day, you and I are given the Bread of Life which lasts forever and sustains us on our earthly journey. You and I are able to receive what angels and archangels cannot. What a tremendous gift we have been given by God.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle that divine spark within us so that we may turn away from worthless idols and their empty promises and renew our commitment to the God who loves us so much that He laid down His very life for us.