Saturday, August 08, 2015
19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 19, 2015 - 19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B, Green
1 Kgs 19:4 – 8 / Eph 4: 30 - 5: 2 / Jn 6:41 - 51
First Reading: 1 Kgs 19:4 – 8
Elijah was scared and fled for his life. He reached Beer-sheba of Judah and left his servant there. 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.
Second Reading: Eph 4: 30 - 5: 2
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.
Gospel: Jn 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."
When we have been working for many hours in the house, or in the office, or wherever we make our living, what do we look forward to? We all look forward to taking a break, a vacation and some rest. In the humdrum of daily life, it is often food which gives us respite from our labors. Food restores our physical energy. Prepared simply and well and taken in the company of loved ones, food also comforts the spirit.
This is what happened in the events recorded in today's readings. In his flight from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel after speaking against their idolatry, the prophet Elijah was exhausted and hungry in the desert. In near despair, he even asks God to take his life. God's response is to give him food and drink, enabling him to continue on his journey.
God frequently does the same. He provides food to comfort his people when they are hungry and down. Remember the manna in the desert for the fleeing Hebrews. Remember Jesus feeding thousands who had come to listen to him. In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of another kind of food. His disciples were still thinking of Jesus feeding thousands and expected something similar. Instead Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life come down from heaven.
It would take the disciples some time to understand this teaching: at the Last Supper Jesus offered himself in the form of bread and wine for the life of the world.
We have learned that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Just as we are comforted by food and a good meal in the company of friends, Jesus wants to comfort us in the Eucharist. He offers not just bread but himself. What is offered to us and received by us at Mass is not just symbolic food to nourish us in our life journey. We are offered Jesus himself who wishes to unite himself to us or, better yet, to unite us to himself so that we can be his presence in our world.
At Holy Communion we are truly in communion with Jesus; he is physically in our bodies. This unique presence of Jesus can transform our hard-hearted-ness into love and forgiveness, laziness to zeal, arrogance to repentance and hate to love. These are some of the things Jesus can do for us, if we allow him to be with us as truly the bread of life.
The promise of Jesus is that what he offers is himself as the bread of life, the bread come down from heaven. Let us pray for a deeper appreciation of Jesus, the bread of life we receive in Holy Communion. Let us unite with him so that he can transform us and make us like him, in love and mercy for others.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
DOROTHY HWAN SY
FLORIDA UYTENGSU YOUNG
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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