Our Lord wants to nurture us and draw us ever closer to Himself
Reflections on the readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary time (August 12, 2018): 1 KGS 19:4-8; PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; EPH 4:30 – 5:2; JN 6:41-51
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
So many of those who listened to Jesus preach kept putting obstacles in the way of their potential faith.
In today’s Gospel, they say that they know Him and His family so, naturally, He cannot be telling the truth about coming from heaven. They are so sure of themselves. Yet Christ states that belief in Him comes through the Father and only that One who was sent by the Father has actually seen Him. Now our Lord mystifies them even more. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.… I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats the bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:47, 51).
Christ has spoken before about the Bread of Life and here He makes it clear that this bread will give us eternal life. Moreover, it is really, truly His own flesh that will nourish us. The life of the world, the life of everyone who believes in our Lord, is His own body, blood soul and divinity. The people who heard Jesus and even witnessed His miracles, but still doubted and still thought they knew who and what He was, could not imagine the magnificent gift of the Eucharist. If, instead, we approach Jesus in humble faith and grateful hope, He will feed us and bring us through time into eternity.
Suggested missionary action: Go to Mass and receive Communion on a day other than Sunday. Then consider baking (or buying) a couple of loaves of good bread and enjoying one with your family and giving the other to a busy friend or a lonely neighbor.