Word for Word 8/8/18

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

Please meditate on 1 Kings 19:4-8, Ephesians 4:30-5:2, John 6:41-51.

In these scriptures, we hear about bread-food. We hear at least in the Gospel, about people who are grumbling, actually the word used today is murmuring, as in, “The people started to murmur in protest because He claimed, “I am the bread that came down from Heaven.”

Jesus confronts the murmuring head-on. He says, “Stop your murmuring.”

Jesus is a lot like us, isn’t he? He doesn’t like grumbling, murmuring or whining any more  than we do. All three of these words are onomatopoetic (good to remember this word for crossword puzzles). The word sounds like the meaning of the word. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Mur-mur-mur-mur-mur. Whiiinne, whiinne, whiinne.

All very unpleasant sounds, aren’t they?

Is that any way to behave toward God? Making unpleasant sounds? You don’t do that, do you?

In order to safeguard ourselves against being a bunch of whiners, complainers and crybabies, we had better try really hard to set ourselves on a positive course. Show a little enthusiasm! Give yourself a break! Give God a break!

What we have, in our faith life, is a God who provides for us. He gives us our daily bread in our physical survival and in our spiritual lives, the Eucharist. We have all that we need, don’t we? Yes, we do if we admit that and accept that, by putting all our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By believing in Him and committing ourselves to living according to His word.

But we look at other people who seem to have more, and we become jealous, and we whine, and grumble and murmur. Does all this whining, grumbling and murmuring make us happy? No, of course not. It makes us miserable.

In order for us to be happy we must live the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a very good summary of “living according to the gospel” in our second reading of St. Paul to the Ephesians! Paul says, Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion, and anger, harsh words, slander and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate and mutually forgiving. Just as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Pray for this grace in our personal lives and ask our Dear Lord to grant this grace to all His children.

An elderly gentleman called 911 on his cell phone to report that his car had been broken into. He is hysterical as he explains his situation to the dispatcher. “They’ve stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and the accelerator!” he cried. The dispatcher said, “Stay calm, an officer is on the way.” A few minutes later, the officer radios in. “Disregard,” He says, “He got in the backseat by mistake.”

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

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