Msgr. Charles Pope: A Study of Needs Versus Wants in A Commercial

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By Msgr. Charles Pope, August 13, 2020

Just out of the Hospital (more on that in a future post). Only Able to blog briefly, But I’m slowly coming back online. Thanks for your prayers!

The video below has a lot to say about how we understand the proper solutions to our real problems. The commercial features a man in the desert who collapses with dire thirst. In the distance he sees a cooler; it is a miracle! Opening it he sees just what he needs, water!  But he is disappointed! Why? Water is so plain and ordinary. He wants something with flavor and pizzazz!

And this speaks to a problem among even many believers.  In the desert of this life God gives us food and drink to sustain us. But too many of us us find this sustenance too ordinary and boring. The Jewish people grew sick of the manna that God apportioned them to sustain them in the desert. The longed for the melons. leeks, cucumbers and meats in Egypt and grew tired of the wretched Manna (cf Num 21:5; 11:15). Today as well many Catholics find the Eucharist boring, the sacraments tedious rituals and the liturgy ordinary.

And yet these are the ways God has chosen to sustain us!  Medicine is meant first to be effective, not tasty. Foods that sustain are seldom as sugary and tasty and food that merely pleasures. Twinkies taste great but are not as good as green beans or salads.

In the commercial, suddenly overhead comes a worldly solution. Flavor for the water!  Yes, this is what our world demands. Solutions that are palatable and according to our tastes and desires. Never mind that the sugar he adds to the water will likely increase his thirst more quickly than just the pure water.

In a funny twist at the end the helicopter pilot offers our desert walker a ride. He declines, allowing the momentary pleasure to make him think he can successfully make the journey across the desert. And thus we too often deceive ourselves into thinking our creature comforts of the moment can sustain us and get us through. They cannot. Only God and what and who he has appointed can get us through.

Lots to think about in this 30 second commercial!

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