What Are You Feeding On?

Gospel Message & Recording

“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.”

When we think of the word “feeding” what we think about is eating food. Or, it may be feeding children, if any. “Feeding” is predominantly associated with the eating of food or feeding food to others.

In the Gospel reading today Jesus says that we are to feed on Him, literally and spiritually. Literally, we feed on His Body and Blood during Qurbana. Spiritually we feed on Christ throughout the week by reading the Bible, saying the Prayers of the Church, listening to Orthodox Sermons, reading the Lives of the Fathers and other Holy Books. As Orthodox Christians, we do the former but neglect the latter. Instead, throughout the week we tend to “feed” on movies, music, and books that are not necessarily beneficial.

How can we feed on Christ throughout the week?

Here are a few examples:

1)    Television: TV is an important part of everyone’s life. So much so that it is placed at the center of the room, strangely almost giving it a place of honor, although unknowingly. In the “olden days” for our forefathers in Malankara India, the center of the room would always be a place for the Cross, Bible and Prayer Books. I am not saying remove the TV from your home. (That’s not where I am going with this.) TV in itself is not sinful but it can become sinful. It could be the very thing that we are “feeding” on to help us cope with stress and worries. This is hard to overcome but it can be done. We should not allow TV to become our “coping system” that we feed on a daily basis. Has TV replaced prayer time? Do we fall asleep while watching TV, or do we sleep after praying by ourselves or with our family? Consider for yourself where you are with this problem and make the needed changes.

2)   Reading: what could be wrong with that? Nothing, unless of course, we are continuously reading material that does not benefit our spiritual life. Novels and fictional books strengthen our intellectual abilities but where are the books that are spiritually edifying to our souls? We should balance our reading with the weight going more toward spiritually edifying content that is predominantly Orthodox Christian in nature, such as the Bible, Writings of the Fathers, and books authored by Orthodox authors.

3)   Sports and Leisure Time: Sports and our leisure activities are wholesome and good. Sports teach discipline and team collaborative skills. Likewise, leisure activities, such as going places with family and enjoying “life” is edifying for the individual as well as the family. But it should not take prominence over Church Life. That is, sports games, going on vacation, taking time to go to parks are well and good but those are always secondary to going to Qurbana, attending fellowship/evening prayers/retreats. Taking part in the “life of the Church” is the primary goal of the family, sports and leisure activities come second.