Saturday, August 01, 2015
18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 2, 2015 - 18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B, Green
Ex 16:2 - 4, 12 –15 / Eph 4:17, 20 – 24 / Jn 6:24 - 35
First Reading: Ex 16:2 - 4, 12 –15
In the desert the whole community of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of Yahweh in Egypt when we sat down to caldrons of meat and ate all the bread we wanted, whereas you have brought us to this desert to let the whole assembly die of starvation!"
Yahweh then said to Moses, "Now I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to gather what is needed for that day. In this way I will test them to see if they will follow my Teaching or not.
"I have heard the complaints of Israel. Speak to them and say: Between the two evenings you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have bread to your heart's content; then you shall know that I am Yahweh, your God!"
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp. And in the morning, dew had fallen around the camp. When the dew lifted, there was on the surface of the desert a thin crust like hoarfrost. The people of Israel upon seeing it said to one another, "What is it?" for they didn't know what it was. Moses told them, "It is the bread that Yahweh has given you to eat."
Second Reading: Eph 4:17, 20 – 24
I say to you, then, and with insistence I advise you in the Lord: do not imitate the pagans who live an aimless kind of life.
But it is not for this that you have followed Christ. For I suppose that you heard of him and received his teaching which is seen in Jesus himself. You must give up your former way of living, the old self, whose deceitful desires bring self-destruction. Renew yourselves spiritually, from inside, and put on the new self, or self according to God, that is created in true righteousness and holiness.
Gospel: Jn 6:24 - 35
When they saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Master, when did you come here?"
Jesus answered, "Truly, I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen through the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for he is the one the Father has marked."
Then the Jews asked him, "What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?" And Jesus answered them, "The work God wants is this: that you believe in the One whom God has sent."
They then said, "Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat."
Jesus then said to them, "Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world." And they said to him, "Give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.
In the first reading today the Israelites complain to Moses about their weary journey in the desert. They begin to have second thoughts about leaving their slavery in Egypt but where they had food and shelter. Though on their way to freedom, they were starving for lack of food and shelter. They appealed to Moses who appealed to God: God sent them manna which tasted like wafers with honey.
Like many Israelites seeking a better life than what they had in Egypt, more than twelve million Filipinos are now in distant and foreign lands to improve their lives and somehow help to stabilize the country. Many of them, after many years of offshore hard work, return without enough savings for their retirement and old age.
Perhaps like the Israelites in the first reading many of these offshore workers have somehow misplaced their life goals: it is so tempting to be attracted to material things and the endless demand for more goods, though with very limited income. It is so easy to be so concerned with material things in life and to forget about the larger purpose of our lives.
In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us that everything on this planet has been given to us for our use, for us to attain our salvation. What vitiates God's plan and our own happiness is when we make material possessions as the end of our existence. The goods of this earth are not the end of our existence but are to be used for the purpose of our lives and existence.
The Gospel reading reminds us of our need for food to sustain ourselves; our bodies need exercise to keep healthy and fit. However, Christ reminds us that we do not live on bread alone. It is just as important to seek employment which benefits not only ourselves and our family members but also the nation. In our quest to satisfy our body needs, we cannot forget what our spirit needs.
The Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the water well was concerned only about her thirst for water to drink. Jesus talked to her about her spiritual thirst. Her materialistic mind could not comprehend the need for spiritual truth.
We need to understand and recognize the false promise of materialism. We need food and material things; but we also need things for the spirit. Jesus reminds us that just as we need bread we also need the word of God. Wealth and the search for wealth can make us forget trust in God, his providence, his love and care for us in this life.
Let us pray to the Lord of life to so fill our hearts with his word and the food which lasts to eternal life.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
ANGELICA L. SALVADOR
LESLEY ANNE G. CHOA
MARILYN W. LEE
MERCENARIO, NIDA, NORENE, NICOLE & NATHAN
IN MEMORIAM (+)
CAMILO B. AUSTRIA
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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