They tempted God in their hearts
by demanding the food they craved.
Yes, they spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the desert?”
Yet he commanded the skies above
and the doors of heaven he opened;
He rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
Psalm 78 (77 LXX)
The psalm for the day recounts the story related in the first reading, from Exodus. The people complain, and God provides. I owe this observation and its connection to the gospel for today to a friend who is a priest. In his homily he pointed out that the parable of the sower is about the sower–it’s not a parable about the different types of soil. The sower goes out to sow, and sows the seed generously: he gives. I insist that my children ask politely, say please, and don’t demand things. But God, my friend observed, complies with the demands of the people and responds to their complaining by more abundant generosity.
Now that’s what I call preaching the good news: he came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. And we didn’t even say ‘please.’