< Back


19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Some things about human nature don’t change, even over the course of centuries. When we celebrate a holiday, we have a meal; when we celebrate a significant event, we have a feast. In today’s first reading, Lady Wisdom is setting a feast, a sign of celebrating the covenant that Israel has with God. Israel’s central remembrance of its saving Exodus covenant is the Passover meal. So it is natural - and not coincidental - that the Christian celebration of the new covenant sealed by the blood of Christ on the cross happens at a meal, our Eucharist, offered first by Jesus in the context of Passover remembrance. It is easy for us, sometimes, to forget the very long and rich religious and human origins of our Eucharistic feasting on the bread and cup that are the Body and Blood of Jesus. Today, and for the next few Sundays that we hear the “Bread of Life” discourse from John, let us bring to mind the loving covenant that God makes with us, and be filled with great joy at this marvelous feast that we have come to attend! Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.