Fourth Sunday

Being Famished
Sunday reflection for the fourth Sunday of Lent March 27. 

 “The manna ceased.  No longer was there manna for the Israelites.”   

Joshua 5:12.

“Whoever is in crisis is a new creation:  The old things have passed away and new things have come.”   

2 Corinthians 5:17.

A severe famine had struck.”   

Luke 15:14.

“Let us celebrate with a feast because this son of mine was dead and has come to life again.”  

Luke 15:24.  

Today’s readings ask us to contemplate loss, hunger, change, celebration and reinventing oneself.  Reinventing oneself not in a secular sense by changing your image, weight, look, or career, think of Madonna, or Adele; but becoming what Christ has called you to be – your authentic self.  You are made in the image and likeness of God – a new creation in Christ as St. Paul describes in 2 Corinthians.  

How do you become a new creation and your authentic self?  Let go of the past, detach and rid yourself of whatever does not bring you closer to love yourself, your neighbor, and serve God.  Whether it is a relationship, how you spend your time, a job, or a habit. Whatever you are hanging onto that is leaving you hungry and empty; ditch it.  

The prodigal son had to experience hunger and wallowing in the mud with the pigs before he realized he had made a terrible mistake by leaving the love and home of his Father.  When he came home, he was given all he needed – nourishment, forgiveness, love, and mercy.  He was made whole.  He went from famine to abundance.

We can sometimes be like the prodigal son starving; or like the Israelites who though no a fan of manna; however, when it “ceased” they hungered for it.  A hunger only God could satisfy.  

As we are about half-way through Lent it is a good time to reflect on our own hunger. One of my favorite Bruce Springsteen’s songs is “Everyone’s Got a Hungry Heart.” How are we satisfying our hunger?  How are we nourishing ourselves?  Are we at risk of eating the husks of pigs like the prodigal son, or are we feasting on ‘soul” food allowing us to grow closer to and become more like Christ- a new creation?  

As a child I remember my mother telling me, “You are what you eat.”  Who knew this would be true of the spiritual life as well?  What better spiritual food and nourishment than the Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.  The Eucharist will satisfy our every need.  It is the perfect feast and celebration of the spiritual life.