Acts 11.1-18; Psalms 41-42; John 10.1-10
Take a look at the entirety of Psalms 41 and 42 (the numbering of the Vulgate; in the Hebrew Bible, and in most English translations, they are Psalms 42 and 43). Together they form one thought, punctuated thrice [41(42).5, 11; 42(43).5] with a refrain: ‘Why so downcast, my soul; why do you sigh within me? Put your hope in God: I shall praise him yet, my saviour, my God.’
The Psalmist begins by comparing himself to a panting deer, drained and dehydrated by a long run. ‘So longs my soul for you, my God.’ He is taunted, he says, by observers who think his quest is foolish and irrational. Yet, he says, he is buoyed because he knows that his journey is a pilgrimage to ‘the wonderful Tent’, the place where God is to be found. That altar remains our goal, that place of sacrifice where earthly hopes are met and transcended by heavenly bounty, where God offers himself as food to satisfy all our desires and longings.