Day 36: Manna from Heaven

Exodus 15: This song of joy praises the Lord for his victory and Israel’s liberation. For any who may have doubted Moses' word, the miraculous escape in crossing the Red Sea revealed the almighty power of God. (CCC 269, 2649, 2810)

Ch 15:26 In the days of Moses and continuing through the time of Christ, people believed that sickness was connected to personal sin or evil. While it is true that many sinful practices such as alcohol or drug abuse, gluttony, and sexual promiscuity have harmful consequences on the mind and body, it is a mystery why good people sometimes suffer while sinners sometimes seem to prosper. The answer to the mystery of suffering lies in the Cross of Christ and his invitation to share in his redemptive Sacrifice; through pain and contradiction God purifies and frees us from sin so we can reflect more effectively the life of Christ in love and goodness. (CCC 1500-1502)

Ch 16:4-19 The manna given to the Israelites reminded them of God’s providence for their temporal needs and of the spiritual “bread,” the WORD OF GOD, by which they lived. Their trials in the desert were not over, but this daily “bread from heaven” was a sign of God’s faithfulness to the covenant by which he would lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. The manna is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of the Eucharist, “the true bread from heaven” (Jn 6:32). (CCC 1094, 1334)

Ch 16:19-21 In the Lord’s Prayer when we pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” we petition God for the necessities of life in a deep spirit of trust in God’s love. This humble request for daily bread also includes spiritual sustenance in the form of the Holy Eucharist. (CCC 303, 2836-2837)

Ch 16:22-36 Even before specifying this in the Ten Commandments, the Lord had already decreed that the Sabbath be observed as a day of rest. The small amount of manna reserved in a jar would later be stored in the Ark of the Covenant (cf. Ex 25). (CCC 2175-2176, 2184-2185)

Leviticus 11:1-46 Distinctions are made between clean and unclean animals. The reasons for particular classifications are not always clear, but it is important to note that these disciplines affected ritual purity and did not deal directly with sin. (CCC 582)

Psalm 71 The progression of old age can be difficult for many people. As their strength wanes and their infirmities grow, many of the elderly wonder why it has to be this way. Some are even inclined to question God as to why they have to suffer such limitations. The author of this psalm also had to put up with the taunts of his enemies who claimed that his increasing frailty was a sign of God’s abandonment. He wished to be restored to better health not only to quiet his critics but also to serve better and to praise God. Our ultimate restoration will be at the resurrection of the body, when our glorified bodies will be reunited with our souls on the last day. Deeds of salvation: For Jews, this meant the mighty acts of deliverance that God had done for them; in the light of Christ, it has become a reference to the saving acts of Christ through his Death and Resurrection. You will increase...comfort me again: Simeon, who waited and prayed to see the Messiah, sustained by the prophecy that he would not die before his wish was fulfilled, was greatly honored and comforted by his encounter with the newborn Christ. (CCC 1017)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 20: God Provides Manna (Exodus 16)

After the Exodus, the Israelites journey through the desert, and God sustains them with MANNA, which daily appears on the ground. This heavenly bread ceases when they reach the PROMISED LAND. The manna PREFIGURES the EUCHARIST (AGAIN WITH THE TYPOLOGY!!), which is likewise bread for the journey, sustaining us on our way to OUR PROMISED LAND, the Kingdom of God.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins) 

Prayer by Fr Mike: "Father in Heaven, we give you praise. We thank you so much for your Word. We thank you for the gift of you revealing your heart to us through Scripture. We ask that you please let your Scripture, let your Word, let your Grace conform our minds to your mind. That we see things the way you see them. Conform our hearts to your heart so that we can love things as you love them. Help us to turn away from what kills us. Help us turn towards you, who give us life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen."


A side-by-side between "The Song of Moses" and the "New Song of the Lamb" in Revelation.

St. Ambrose of Milan gave a great commentary about how the sweetening of the bitter waters points toward the Baptismal waters.

I highly recommend picking up Dr. Brant Pitre's book: "Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist" to go more in depth about how the Manna and the Quail were one of the major prefigurements of the Eucharist. Hopefully this chart I put together helps tie them together, along with how the miraculous "Feeding of the Five Thousand" and the "Bread of Life" discourse of John 6 bridged the Old Manna to the New Manna. If the Manna was miraculous and heavenly in the old, inferior convenant, the New Manna then HAS to be even mroe so. Maybe that's why the unique greek word used for "daily" bread in the Lord's prayer is two greek words fused together that literally means "supersubstantial bread." We're not just asking for bread, we're asking for our manna - the new manna - the eucharist - the supersubstantial bread of life!

The Unclean Foods compared to Christ declaring all foods clean, and Peter's Heavenly vision instructing Peter to eat the animals that were once unclean and now are clean, symbolic of bringing the Gentiles into the fold of the New Covenant.