Lord, grant me wisdom to know the difference between my needs and my wants
18th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 2nd August 2021
Num. 11:4-15; Ps. 80:12-13,14-15,16-17;
Mt. 14:13-21 (Ps Wk II)
Food is a basic need of human beings. God knows this and provides His people with what they need for their daily sustenance. God fed the people of Israel with manna in the desert.
Jesus fed more than five thousand people with fish and bread. The Psalmist says God will provide his people “with finest wheat and fill them with honey from the rock”.
The problem is that often, people want more than what they need. The Israelites had become unhappy with the kind of food they were receiving from God. Manna may have been nice as a “starter”, but after a while, they had enough of it. Now, they begin to ‘hunger’ for what they used to eat in Egypt: fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks and so on. Compared to these, what is manna? Just something “for us to look at”, say the people.
The people were complaining not because they were hungry. Manna provided for their daily “needs”. Instead, now they “wanted” more than to have a full stomach. They yearned to taste the delicious food they were used to in the past. In other words, they were saying it is better for us to have tasty food even if we were slaves in Egypt than to be eating manna and being free in the desert. “Why did God free us from Egypt? Wasn’t life better there?” The people did not understand and appreciate what God has done and is doing for them.
Indeed, our relationship with God, like the people of Israel, can become complicated when we get confused between our needs and wants.
Lord, give me the wisdom to know the difference.