It might be a stretch of the imagination, but today’s Gospel got me to thinking about eating healthily. If there’s one thing you learn from reading cookery books and watching cookery shows on TV, it’s how to eat fresh, wholesome, healthy foods that help to keep you fit and strong. And this is a good thing, because we have a responsibility to care for our physical frame, just as we need to care for our spiritual well-being.
Most food writers tell us that a well-balanced diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish and meat contribute to our bodies remaining strong and healthy. We have to be careful to eat wisely the right foods in the right proportions, and in moderation.
Likewise, when we read Sacred Scripture, we need to digest all parts of God’s Word, not just our favourite books or verses. We shouldn’t be picky eaters, reading only the consoling psalms, the miracles of Jesus, or the words about God’s love and mercy. We also need to delve into the prophets’ words about sin, and the need to change our lives for the better, or about the need to serve God, the Church, and our neighbour. It’s a mistake to embrace only the encouraging words, and to ignore those words that challenge us to live differently, or ask us to give up some of our time, or our talents.
Just as fresh, wholesome, well-prepared foods help to keep us physically fit, so the reading and study of Sacred Scripture can keep us spiritually fit. God’s word enables us to stay close to him, so that we can know his protection against anything that would try to steal our hearts and our minds.