Reflection on Numbers 11:6

“Our soul is dry, our eyes behold nothing else but manna.” (Numbers 11:6)

Literal Sense: The people of Israel, after coming out of the land of Egypt, complained about the fact that they were only given manna to eat.  With an ungrateful heart for what God had done for them, they complained and longed for the food they had back in Egypt, wishing to go back to slavery and have more of a variety of food, than freedom and only manna to eat.  Their eyes beheld the manna, yet they only perceived it to be what it appeared to be rather than perceive it as it truly was, a gracious gift from God.

Allegorical Sense: As manna came down from heaven to feed the people of God, so Christ identifies Himself as the true manna that comes down from heaven to spiritually feed God’s people (John 6:33).  This true manna is given to all those who partake of the Eucharist.  Just as some of God’s people did not recognize God’s blessings but merely looked at the outward appearance, so it is that many today do not recognize the blessing of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity truly given to God’s people under the appearance of Bread.

Moral Sense: We must be careful not to miss God’s blessings in the midst of what appears to be unpleasant, if we miss it, our souls will be dry as the people of Israel.  We must remember that though God may put us through trials, He has a great blessing in store for us if we perceive it as an opportunity to receive God’s grace, rather than as a burden.  We must also be especially careful not to perceive the Eucharist as bread but to see it as what it truly is, Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  If we believe the Eucharist is bread then our souls will be dry but if we see the Eucharist as Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, then our souls will satisfied and we will never thirst again (John 4:14).

Anagogical Sense: If we remain faithful, we will see God, not under the appearances of bread, but as He truly is in the beatific vision.

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