Saturday, August 11, 2012
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
1 Kgs 19:4-8 / Eph 4:30-5:2 / John 6:41- 51
He himself disappeared into the desert going on a day's journey. Then he sat down under a broom tree and prayed to die, "That is enough, Yahweh, take away my life for I am dying." He lay down and went to sleep under the broom tree. Then an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." Elijah looked and saw, at his head, a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. He ate and drank and went back to sleep. The angel of Yahweh came a second time to him, saying, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too long for you." He got up, ate and drank, and on the strength of that food, he traveled for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
Do not sadden the Holy Spirit of God which you were marked with. It will be your distinctive mark on the day of salvation. Do away with all quarreling, rage, anger, insults and every kind of malice: be good and understanding, mutually forgiving one another as God forgave you in Christ. As most beloved children of God, strive to imitate him. Follow the way of love, the example of Christ who loved you. He gave himself up for us and became the offering and sacrificial victim whose fragrance rises to God.
JOHN 6:41- 51
The Jews murmured because Jesus had said, "I am the bread which comes from heaven." And they said, "This man is the son of Joseph, isn't he? We know his father and mother. How can he say that he has come from heaven?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me. For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread which comes from heaven, so that you may eat of it, and not die. I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world."
For us as Catholics, the Lord's words today form the foundation of our belief in Christ's Eucharistic presence; that is, that the bread and wine have been transformed into his Body and Blood, and we are nourished with Christ himself. Yet, if we do not look at these words of Christ in light of the rest of the gospel, and, in fact, the rest of Scripture, we are impoverished in our understanding of this most precious gift of God. If we do not make connections between these words and the rest of Scripture, the Eucharist can be reduced to being simply a once-a-week spiritual vitamin. We take in Christ and go our merry way, storing up enough grace to get into heaven.
When Jesus gives himself to us as our food of salvation, he does so because food is one of the deepest means of unity. When we eat something, what we eat becomes part of us. After it is digested, it cannot be separated from us. The expression `you are what you eat' is true. Eat healthy food, you become healthy.
When we connect today's Gospel with the rest of Scripture, we find that the purpose of the Eucharist is not simply to make Jesus one with us, but really, to make us one with him. He has said: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." "Come, and follow me." "Unless you take up your cross and follow me, you cannot have eternal life." These words call us to a unity with the Lord, not just the Lord being united with us. When we take Christ into ourselves in Holy Communion, he indeed unites himself to us. Yet this unity demands from us a uniting of our minds and hearts and wills to him, so that, just as the Eucharist that we receives becomes united to us, we are to act in such a way that we become one in Christ.
The words from the Book of Kings and Paul to the Ephesians are part of our context that gives meaning to the Gospel. Elijah, worn out from a life of prophesying to hardened hearts and now threatened with the wrath of the evil Queen Jezebel, tells God that he cannot go on and that he would be better off if God killed him. The Lord, however, lets him rest and sends him food and drink. Yet, God does not just comfort; he gives Elijah food precisely so that he can continue to do what the Lord wills.
As with us in this holy banquet, Christ gives himself to us as food and drink so that we can continue to do his will, which is how we live in union with him. Christ's Body and Blood become one with us precisely so that we may be one with him, by having the strength to do his will. Yet, if each of us is one in Christ, we are also one with each other, for there is only one Christ.
The words of Paul from our second reading give meaning to the Eucharist. If we are one with each other, then there is no room for actions and attitudes that are not Christ's: no bitterness, fury, anger, malice, or shouting. There is room only for what is Christ's: kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and living as an offering to God, an offering that is so fragrant because we are united to the perfect offering of Christ. To receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation are quite simple actions. Yet, when taken in context, they make all the difference in our lives, for in this action, we pledge to live in a new and different way, the way of Christ himself.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, SJ
- Eric John Paul Benitez and Robert Joseph Benitez
… Birthday: Corazon Funtanilla and Ligaya Race
… for those affected by the recent floods in the Philippines. May the Lord continue to give them strength to persevere.
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Alberto Almoroto. Eternal rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Felisa Keh
- Birthday: Renato (Tato) Reyes
- In Memoriam (+): Sergio Naranjilla, Sr.
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
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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