Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 2 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Growing up as a child in the 1930's, we had "iceboxes" that depended on an iceman who delivered ice to our homes every few days. In the hot months of July and August, I can remember running after the ice wagon with the other kids, looking for small chips to cool us down.
In today's first reading, the Israelites were always running after the manna which God sent from heaven. They were happy only when they had full stomachs! The same is true in today's Gospel. Crowds pursued Jesus all the way across the lake, looking for more of that delicious bread he had provided the day before. Jesus chided them aiming only to feed their stomachs, when He had much more to give them of the spiritual bread of eternal life. When they asked him what they could do to accomplish the works of God, He told them bluntly, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one He sent."
The entire sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel is concerned about Jesus' teaching that He himself is the Bread of life, far superior to the bread for our stomachs that satisfies only for a short time. He affirms that this precious gift from the Father is of no avail unless we believe. We must get rid of any indifference, doubt, or skepticism about the words of Jesus and about their source, and just abandon our minds and hearts to unqualified acceptance.
God the Father has sent us Jesus from heaven to be our food, our strength, our hope, and our joy in living. Nothing else in life can surpass this Bread of Life. The Israelites died after eating delicious manna and quail from the skies, and so will we die after acquiring all earthly food, including knowledge, money, success, and other earthly treasure. God's life-giving Bread has in it the power of eternal life, but it will nourish only those who truly believe,
Before we approach the altar at Mass again to receive this precious gift, let us stir up in our hearts full assent to what we proclaim at the Creed, "We believe!" Without faith, we may receive into our bodies the true Body and Blood of the Son of God, but we will never know the full transforming effects we should desire so earnestly.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, August 2, 2009
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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