Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 9 A..D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 4:30 -- 5:2
John 6:41-51

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Have you ever been so discouraged that you wanted to die? Elijah was.

And, ironically, he had every reason to be cheered by his success against the false prophets of Ba'al. Before an audience of many hundreds, he had called down fire from heaven to consume a very wet pile of wood and animal carcasses. And God did what he asked!

Now, fleeing for his life, Elijah became despondent, lay down, and went to sleep! Sometimes, sleep cures our downcast spirits, and we can shake off our despondency. Sometimes prayer will help. In any case, God took matters into His own hands, and sent an angel to wake him˜and to feed him. It wasn't a seven-course dinner, but it gave Elijah enough strength to walk 300 miles to Mt. Horeb, where God renewed His covenant with sinful Israel.

We must never let Satan or our own emotions keep us from doing all the good God wants us to accomplish. We must never give up, but rather turn to prayer for nourishment. Sometimes, we need to stir ourselves into action by reaching out to someone that we can encourage or assist in their need.

St. Paul urges us, in the second reading today, not to "sadden" the Holy Spirit. It may come as a surprise that the Holy Spirit can feel so deeply, and, like humans, can be saddened. What sadden Him are our bitterness, quarreling, shouting, ingratitude, and lack of forgiveness.

What gladden the Holy Spirit are our kindness and patience with one another. We are reminded to be imitators of Christ, and to live in love. What great advice! If we want to get rid of despondency and discouragement, we only need to imitate our Savior, and be ourselves "bread" for others.

The Gospel deals with a doubting audience, shocked and critical of Jesus' claim to have come down from heaven as the Bread of Life. Despite the miracles they had witnessed, and the words of wisdom preached with such convincing authority, they could not go the extra step to accept His claim. At last, Jesus revealed His power to give eternal life. What an incredible opportunity! But they refused it.

Without judging these listeners too harshly, may we stir up deep gratitude in our hearts for faith in the Real Presence of Jesus, His Body and Blood, His Soul and Divinity.

Our reaction can only be an awestruck "Thank you, God!"

~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
| email: pwhitmore29@yahoo.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ninteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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