The World’s Hope

The Fathers found a great Old Testament prophecy of the Eucharistic mystery in the bestowal of manna in the wilderness. They were drawn to God’s promise given through Moses in Exodus 16:12, ‘In the morning you will eat your fill of bread.’ Origen read the verse in the light of the image of Christ the Morning Star, expounded wonderfully in his sermons on Exodus. The 1947 edition of that text in the Sources Chrétiennes was done by P Henri de Lubac. He appended to Origen’s commentary a marvellous footnote of timeless relevance:

‘To Origen Christ restores to an ageing world perpetual youth. Thus is conveyed the considered sentiment of gladness that bore up the first Christian communities, conscious, at once, of being heirs to a most ancient tradition and yet of embodying a new world. It still depends on the Christian of today whether Christianity will appear to all as the world’s youth and its hope.’