I am a big “why?” person. I feel that anything I speak about, plan, pursue or believe in has to have a meaningful “why”, or else it is not worth doing or believing.
Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, as well as his TED talks and presentations on the subject, discuss how to clearly articulate your “Why,” and why that is such an important place to start.
He points out that most people know or are told the “whats” in life: “you have to read this book,” “you have to go to college,” or “you have to believe this or that.” Sometimes, people in life articulate the “how” as well: “you read this book by setting aside some time in a quiet place and focusing on one chapter at a time,” “you apply for college and scholarships starting in Fall of your Senior year online,” or “you believe by coming to Church every Sunday and learning about the faith.”
However, very few people know or lead with their why: “you should read this book because it inspires us to remember to stand up for injustice even in the face of opposition,” “college is an opportunity to enter into dialogue with people from all walks of life and think about the big questions of life critically,” or “we are Catholic because a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that will truly satisfy the longing of our hearts and the Church offers us this through the Sacraments which perfect us on a journey toward Heaven with God for eternity.”
Whys are powerful. Whats and hows pale in comparison and are far too fickle, changing constantly with time and culture. They are mediocre, and we stand for far too much mediocrity in the way things are done in our Churches. Whys stand the test of time.
So why MANNA?
Reason 1: MAtt + jeNNA = MANNA. Boom goes the dynamite.
Reason 2: And much more importantly, we believe that Jesus Christ is who He says he is, and if you believe that too then that truth should shake us to our very core. God Himself, Lord over all, came down to let Himself be vulnerable to humanity, to walk with humanity, to bear the redemption of humanity on Himself. And not only that, He rose from the dead. If we really believe this, then we should be proclaiming this to EVERY single person we encounter, because Heaven is that important.
“Then the Lord said to Moses: I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion: thus I will test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not” (Exodus 16:4, New American Bible).
God offers us Himself every single day in the Eucharist. The Manna in the desert was a foreshadowing of this perfect gift of self to sustain us spiritually against the temptations of this world and the struggle against sin and evil. It simply requires our trust, every day, that Jesus is who He says He is, and that we are who He says we are.
As MANNA grows, our “why” is to point our listeners, watchers, followers and readers to the True Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, and to provide clarity, inspiration and wisdom as best we can to help you in living out your life as a Catholic Christian in the world, bringing the grace and life of the Sacrament with you wherever you go.
We hope this also helps you to consider what your why is. Why are you Catholic? What is the why you are pursuing each day? We hope MANNA can be a source of spiritual nourishment as you seek the “why” behind your faith and your passion in Christ each day.
See you in the Eucharist.
Matt & Jenna are two Catholic best friends, youth ministers and worship leaders seeking to encourage, inspire & grow closer to Christ and His Church.