Reflecting on John 6: 51-58
My friend Noblet barely notices sports teams, even when her home team goes to the Super Bowl. “What did you and your brothers and sisters DO when you were growing up if you didn’t play sports?” I ask. “We planted wheat,” she says, and that’s when the dots connect for me.
Of course. They planted wheat. They and all the farmers of the world who produce 650 million tons of it every year. And, in the planting, and cultivating, and praying over, and harvesting of this wheat they partnered with God in bringing bread to the tables of most people on this planet. That’s at least as satisfying as hitting a fly ball to left field.
Jesus could have said I am the rice of life too, since that metaphor resonates more deeply for the billions for whom rice is the more familiar staple. When the Hebrew children escaped Egypt (the bread basket of the world) and lived in the barren desert for forty years, God became for them the manna of life. And, just like every farmer who watches the skies for rain, those ex-slaves watched the skies for God’s daily gift of food.
They would have to wait for the glorious fields of the Galilee. For now, the strange, sticky dew would sustain them.
It’s a holy thing, this planting of wheat. We plant the seeds, and God sends the rains and the sun. Morning comes, and evening follows, and one day, voilà. Wheat.
And just as the lovely stalks lift up in the fields, we lift our hearts up to the Lord. Happy Feast Day, Church, and may we ever see him in the breaking of the Bread.
How are you partnering with God to feed and nourish?