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Speaking to the Soul: According to Taste

Speaking to the Soul: According to Taste

5 Easter, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]


Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 106:1-18 (morning) // 106:19-48 (evening)

Wisdom 16:15-17:1

Romans 14:13-23

Luke 8:40-56

In today’s first reading, God’s way of feeding us sounds like a wonder you’d expect from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Instead of feeding people with earthly crops, “you gave your people food of angels, and without their toil you supplied them from heaven with bread ready to eat, providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.” Miraculously, this heavenly food manages to please the unique tastes of every individual. The passage goes on to describe how God’s bread, “ministering to the desire of the one who took it, was changed to suit everyone’s liking.” This bread adapts itself to the needs and desires of those who receive it.

(If only God would share the recipe for this bread! My husband and I often find ourselves cooking to order for every single member of the family.)

The Scriptural account of this miraculous bread should not only make our mouths water but also tell us something about God. First, God seeks not to sustain us with staples but truly to serve our whole selves, including our desires. As the passage declares of God, “your sustenance manifested your sweetness toward your children.” God’s care for us is not only nourishing, but deliciously sweet. Further, God’s miraculous food teaches us not to toil but to trust. From divine food we learn “that it is not the production of crops that feeds humankind but that your word sustains those who trust in you.”

Perhaps we can carry this sense of heavenly food into our experience of the Eucharist this week. Imagine the holy bread and wine adapted to our unique needs and tastes, ministering to our needs as well as our desires, and offering a source we can trust with our lives. Today, our daily prayers and reflections can prepare us for the weekly Eucharistic feast.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


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Tobias Haller

Every other year I’m struck at how “unscriptural” is this passage from Wisdom; for surely the canonical text tells us just what manna tasted like and that the people found it, after the initial amazement, bland and unpleasing fare.

Still, it is a wonderful passage, and one can see how much it influenced the later Grail legends in which the Knights of the Grail live solely on the Eucharist, which takes the form of whatever dish each likes best.

Thanks for lifting it up… like the Bread itself, as a benediction on this day.

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