On family movie night, sometimes my family and I would take a trip to our local grocery store to get some ice cream. My mom and my sisters would choose those normal-sized individual pints. My dad, my brother, and I were a different story. We would get half-gallon cartons, but not to share. We each got our own. Why would I get sixteen servings of Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie, you ask? The answer is simple: you can only eat a bowl of ice cream once. To extend the enjoyment of something like ice cream, you need to increase the quantity. Still, even a slow, savoring of the food cannot last. No matter how hungry we are, eventually, and inevitably, the ice cream runs out.
When we look around at all the good things we pursue, whether food, comfort, wealth, or pleasure, they all seem to have one thing in common. In the end, they fail to satisfy. Our desire is not content. We want more. What are we to do with this insatiable desire, then? Jesus, beset with hunger himself, gives us an example as he was tempted by the devil.
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Mt 4:3-4).
In the face of perishable food, Jesus turns our hearts to the word of God, which is never exhausted by our study or contemplation. We can turn again and again to the very same words and derive more and more fruit from them. The Scriptures, while finite in their number of words, are infinite in their depth, for God himself speaks to us about himself. How much more fitting is an insatiable appetite for the word of God than for ice cream! God’s word, whose riches are never exhausted, teaches us the Lord’s ways, encourages us in our struggles, and promises us divine assistance on the road to eternal life. May God grant us the grace to seek his word and savor it, that immersed in his revelation we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Image: Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Bible