Saturday, August 08, 2009
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
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AUGUST 9, 2009
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - B
1 KINGS 19:4-8
Elijah went a day's journey into the desert, until he came to a broom
tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death saying: "This is enough,
O LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers." He lay down
and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him
and ordered him to get up and eat. Elijah looked and there at his head
was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay
down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched
him, and ordered, "Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long
for you!" He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
Brothers and sisters: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which
you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury,
anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all
malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one
another as God has forgiven you in Christ. So be imitators of God, as
beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed
himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, "I am the bread that
came down from heaven," and they said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of
Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, `I
have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Stop
murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father
who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is
written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who
listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone
has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the
Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I
am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but
they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one
may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from
heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that
I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
Today, Jesus at tempts to link the Old Testament event of the feeding
of the manna to the Israelites to his ego eimi or the "I am" sayings,
that is, his being the bread of life. Whoever eats this bread will
live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life
of the world.
As we all know, bread is something that is considered as staple for
many cultures unlike in the Philippines and Asia where we tend to eat
more of rice. But more than the physiological satisfaction that bread
or rice gives us, it is good to ask: what do we feed ourselves for
Nowadays, we hear of various ways by which we somehow pamper
ourselves. We cannot seem to be contented with how things are. For
those with curly hair, they want it to be straightened and vice-versa.
Those who have darker skin they like to look fairer. Those who are
excessively overweight go to health clubs so that they might trim
While some of what has been mentioned is commendable, it is good to
ask whether we are able to do something to enhance the other aspects
of our lives. Do we do something for our emotional and spiritual
dimensions, which Jesus is likewise concerned? What have we done to
nourish our relationship with Jesus? Do we make time for prayer? Or is
prayer something we remember only when we have problems or are in need
of help from Jesus?
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was the former archbishop of Chicago,
Illinois, USA. One of his most practical advices was that we should
pray when we are still healthy because when the time comes that we are
sick, it would be very difficult to focus our attention to God. He
arrived at this conclusion because he himself experienced getting
seriously sick, that is, his encounter with cancer. Isn't this true?
Just a simple running nose, headache and toothache make us easily
distracted. What more for illnesses and diseases where pain can be so
much that we feel so helpless as it cannot be sufficiently managed.
During those times, it is easy to neglect the presence of Jesus as we
are so enmeshed in our suffering.
But, in ways that we cannot fully comprehend, Jesus continues to offer
himself to us. In our desperation, we are able to suddenly remember to
call on him, whose availability and love are without question. These
then are the moments that Jesus becomes truly the bread of life
because from hopelessness, we become hopeful. From lack of meaning in
life, we find reason to move on. We find that even in moments of
weakness and insignificance, Jesus continues to sustain us and make us
feel special. These, in the end, would only be experienced with the
eyes of faith. Just as Jesus has become the bread of life to us, we
are likewise invited to be bread too for others.
"I am the bread of life", Jesus claims. It was a truly a difficult
moment for the Jews for they were supposedly very familiar with Jesus'
background. They simply found him too much, too overwhelming. We too
can find such a claim difficult to believe. But with constant
reflection, openness of heart and mind, as well as faith, such a
profound truth may be perceived and accepted.
Today, let us pray that we may experience true nourishment in our
hearts, mind and body. May we grow in deeper relationship with him,
who manifests in finding meaning in life. May we look forward to
reaching the eternal life as he promised.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the personal intentions of Pauline
… for the strength and healing of:
- Keempee, Kevin and Darlita
- Brenda Domingo-Solis
… In Memoriam: Ulysses Antonio Yap
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Corazon C. Aquino. Eternal
rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they
and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lourdes B. Baretto
- Birthday: Belinda KB Vergel
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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