11&12 August 2018
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Kings 19: 4-8
Second Reading: Ephesians 4: 30-5:2
Gospel: John 6: 41-51
STRENGTHENED BY THE BREAD OF LIFE
Today we resume the “Bread of Life” discourse from John’s Gospel that began two weeks ago. He makes reference to the Jews’ ancestors who ate manna in the desert. These days we would think primarily of Israel wandering in the desert, but faithful Jews would also have known the story of Elijah that we hear today. Strengthened by food and drink in the desert, the angel of the Lord sends him on his forty-day and forty-night journey (the biblical number for a preparation time). Like the food given to Elijah in the desert, Jesus tells his listeners that he is bread for the life of the world. It is very important that we not stop listening to Jesus after his promise of eternal life — a marvelous promise, but this “reward” is not the only reason we feast on the Bread of Life. We also come to the table to be made strong for the journey of mission, that the whole world might have life in the fullness of Christ. We are compelled, if we have eaten of the bread of life, to go forth in service to all.
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