A Warning Not to Forget God in Prosperity
8 “This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.” ~ Deuteronomy 8:1-2
The journey of Moses is the same journey that every father lives from the first day our first child is born to the day we breathe our last breath. The journey of Moses is the same journey as Christ when we reflect on the word “Charity”. This reflection I hope will take you on the perfect journey of what we are truly celebrating, that being first “The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Christ” and secondly that of “Father’s Day”.
Let’s begin with Moses, the Father of Isreal. We begin with a warning to not forget the hardship, the daily testing, the formation process, the charity God had provided His people through Moses. God, the Father is the provider of everything we need, His word alone is all we need, and the daily ritual of living; if done through God’s commandments, will result in great prosperity. This message of Moses is the same message every good father tells their children when it’s time to let them go experience the world. Most particularly Moses reminds the Hebrews about the gifts of God, i.e. when they were starving in the desert God provided them with manna from Heaven, when they were thirsty God provided them with water from the rocks. Let’s fast fast-forward, in our world today every father works hard to provide for his children, works one, two, and even sometimes three jobs to provide food, clothes, a place to sleep, and education for his children. A good father provides just as God provided for the Israelites through His prophet Moses. In this way through, “Charity”, basic necessities are provided for us as children by both our earthly father and our Heavenly Father. In both instances, the manna from God is the provision and the first partaking of the body and blood of Christ thousands of years before His birth. Moses prayed and God delivered in the times of need what they needed. So too does our earthly fathers work hard and pray and God makes it possible for them to deliver what is needed to his family.
CONNECTIN 1: So we celebrate both the provision of manna, “The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Christ”, within the celebration of what our earthly fathers work hard to provide to their children.
Aren’t We All Called to Participate in One Body?
16 “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NRSVACE)
If Moses’s journey through the wilderness was an act of Charity, if God sending Moses to confront the Pharaoh in Egypt was an act of Charity, and if earthly fathers providing for their children are an act of Charity then so too is the greatest of sacrifices we have ever seen in history; that of the perfect lamb, Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His body we take into our body and together we become one, one body and blood with Christ, one body and blood with God, and one in Christ with our many brothers and sisters worldwide! It is an act of Charity that leads all of us to Costly Discipleship which is provided by God’s Costly Grace.
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1995). The Cost of Discipleship, p.45
The case for a man to provide for his children is the same sacred duty that God Himself carries out in our everyday lives. It is the Holy Body and Blood of Christ that makes us all one and it is through this act of Charity have we found Discipleship and Grace with God the Father. Mankind could not be saved with Sacrifice because we are inherently born in sin. To this point, Jesus was born Sinless, and thus the perfect sacrifice to save our souls and to become one with our Father in Heaven. However, this comes at a cost; our salvation came at a cost. So it is proper to say, aren’t we all called to participate in the sacrifice of Christ, to eat from one loaf?
3 “Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.” ~ Deuteronomy 8: 3-5 The Message (MSG)
So we learn that God disciplines us out of Charity to disciples us, in the same ways Earthly Fathers disciplines their children out of Charity, to make disciples out of them.
CONNECTIN 2: God provided food for the starving Isieliriates out of Charity, which was bringing them into costly discipleship, or costly grace. In the same was earthly fathers bring their children into discipleship through partaking in the one loaf, by educating their children to partake in the eucharist of Christ. All of which could not be a reality with great sacrifice.
Truest of Intentions
51 “‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.’” ~ John 6:51-58 (NRSVACE)
Every day we live we are tested by God. That statement is a scary one because it makes us accountable. Each test we pass we grow in our faith, and each test we fail we must repeat. God is true to His words and that is what makes His word life for the sinner. Moses knew this and saw many perish in the desert, many more passed and became a nation. God tests us to prove to our own mind, heart, and soul that we are ready and that our intentions are honorable, that we will obey His commandments. God knows who will and who won’t, but as it rains on the evil doer it also rains on the righteous by this we then are all given the same equal opportunity at His testing, His molding, His teachings, His word.
The Eucharist is the one body, the one loaf we all partake, as each test builds our faith, and we, therefore, become disciplined in the ways of God. This is passed down from Moses to modern man, each Earthly Father has a sacred calling to bring up his children in the admonition of the Lord. Each Earthly Father is rightfully, therefore, called a provider acting out of charity to his children. Each Earthly Father is, therefore, rightfully, tested in his abilities to provide, to partake in daily sacrifices for his children. Each Earthly Father is proven worthy when he obeys the commandments of God and brings his children to the Lord as disciples proving daily that each moment is God-centered, God-inspired, and God tested! We all are made worthy through this process and we are all saved through each word of God, for that is all that we need. Moses is warning us today to not forget what God has done, not to forget what Jesus Christ has done, not to forget the Lord our Heavenly Father when we become prosperous in our earthly lives for each thing given is from God.
Today we celebrate our Heavenly Father, His son Jesus, and all our Earthly Fathers who partake in the one loaf of eternal life. We celebrate each man who takes up this sacred vow and which moves mountains for his child/ren, and who willing is tested, willing makes sacrifices, willingly takes on the responsibility to discipline his child/ren into disciples of God. It is the greatest act of Charity these things can happen and it is through His Costly Grace we are saved. As an Earthly Father, our sacred duties begin with the first breath of our first born child and ends at our last breath.
“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son; ye were bought at a price”, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1995). The Cost of Discipleship, p.45
CONNECTIN 3: God tests us daily, He provide us with manna from heaven and His sons Holy Body and Blood so that we may have everlasting life. God proves to our hearts and minds the knowledge of our truest intentions as he is molding us, making us disciplined in His ways so we too can become His disciples. This is a costly process because it cost God much.
Challenge Question: Can you list the many ways you have shown others Charity? Can you list all the people you have discipled, or how many people you have won over for God? How about listing how many times you have heard God directing you to show Charity through your own discipleship?
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