18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2018 ~ St. Monica, Palatka ~ Father Ron
Gospel: John 6:24-35 ~ Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are not looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”…
So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Exodus 16:2-15~ Grumble, Grumble, Grumble
Psalm78 ~ The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Ephesians 4:17-24~ put away the old self of your former way of life,
Manna teaches us many lessons. The Israelite community was led by Moses into the Desert of Sin. In Spanish, “sin” means without. Here were the Israelite people in a desert without much, except they did have freedom from their slavery, God’s saving hand, and a whole lot of grumble, grumble, grumble!
Manna was like bread. In the morning the people ate “manna” and in the evening they ate quail (flesh). This was the routine for 40 years. The people were directed to collect only enough for their family. If they gathered too much, it rotted and was useless. If they gathered too little, they still had enough.
However, on the 6thday they were to gather enough for the 7thday. If they tried to gather on the 7thday, there was none. And boy did they try. Remember these people loved to grumble, grumble, grumble.
The Israelites called this food manna. It was like coriander seed, but white, and it tasted like wafers made with honey.
The wafers we use for Eucharist are really bland tasting, but with faith they fill up all of our senses, emotions and souls. “Blood of Christ inebriate me!”
God teaches us about keeping the Sabbath holy and tithing the manna in the desert. Moses told the people that the Lord has commanded “Keep an omer of manna (10% of the daily amount for a family) for your descendants, that they may see what food I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Moses then told Aaron, “Take an urn and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord in safekeeping for you descendants.” So Aaron placed it in front of the commandments for safekeeping, as the Lord had commanded Moses. Doesn’t this remind you of our tabernacle? It is very connected.
God gives us his First Fruits on Sunday in the Eucharist… his Son.
Everyone receives the exact same portion. Jesus is living bread kept in the tabernacle for the past 2000 years. He is adored, thanked and loved.
People, we are in the desert of Sin. We lack so much and we tend to grumble, grumble, grumble. But God is providing our daily bread every time we call upon God in the Lord’s Prayer. I do hope you ask every day. Every Sunday, we eat the body and blood of our Savior. He sustains us in our deserts.
We must teach our children and grandchildren to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood so that they may have eternal life. Nothing else in this world is worth more than one drop of his blood or of a crumb of the Body of Christ.
Jesus pleads with us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
What are you looking for? What are you thirsting for? The five loaves and two fish were not the Eucharist. They merely represented the manna in the desert. Hunger returns after eating that bread. But to work for the Bread of Life requires us to come to Jesus and believe in him. Jesus is about to turn everything upside down by giving his very flesh to eat and blood to drink as real food. But first he must suffer and die.
If you are feeling like something is missing in your life, could it be a lack the Bread of life? A week without Eucharist is a truly bad week for me. How about you? “When you eat my body and you drink my blood, I will live in you and you will live in my love.” We are one Body, one Body in Christ.
I wrote this poem when I was in front of the tabernacle hungering for my invitation to join the seminary.
I must be crazed
The center of my life
Spilt on parched ground
Desperate for pieces of hope, of love
Plain – bland – and somewhat tasteless
No pomp, no grandiose
Sinful hands – holy hands
grapes of wrath – grapes of life
crushed – love
I must be crazed
My life centered;
Broken Bread, poured out wine