III. Who Feeds You? Beyond these liturgical preferences of many for melons and leeks over manna, there is also a manifest preference for the food of this world. There is a tragic tendency for many Catholics, even regular church-goers, to get most of their food not from the Lord, not from Scripture, not from the Church, but from the Egypt of this world.
And while it is true that Christians cannot wholly avoid all contact with the world or eschew all its food, when do the melons and leeks ever come up for criticism? When do Christians finally look closely and say, “That is not the mind of God!” When do they ever conclude that this food is inferior to what God offers? When do parents finally walk into the living room, turn off the TV, and tell their children that what they have just seen and heard is not the mind of God?
Tragically, this is rare. The food of this world is eaten in amounts far surpassing the consumption of the food of God. The melons and leeks of the world are praised, while the manna of God is put on trial because it’s not like the food of the world.
For a Christian, of course, this is backwards. The world should be on trial based on the Word of God. Instead, even for most Catholics, the Word of God and the teachings of the Church are on trial by the standards of the world.
So the question is, who is it that feeds you? Is it the world or the Lord? What proportion of your food comes from the Lord and what from the world? Answer honestly! Which is more influential in your daily life and your thinking: the world or the Lord? Who is really feeding you, informing you, and influencing you? Is it the melons and leeks of this world? Or is it the faithful, stable, even miraculous manna of the Lord and His Church?
These are some probing questions for all of us, drawn from an ancient wilderness. God’s people, who tired of the manna, harmed themselves and others as well. It is easy to blame others for the mess we’re in today, but there are too many Catholics who prefer the melons and leeks of this world and have failed to summon others to the manna given by the Lord.
Have mercy on us, Lord our God. Give us a deep desire for the manna you offer. And having given it to us in abundance, help us to share it as well!
This article first appeared on Msgr. Pope’s blog, Community in Mission. It is reprinted here with kind permission from the author.