18th Sunday in ordinary time Year B….2015 The first Reading and Gospel for the Sunday. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia. Family Prayer around God’s Word and a Blessing.
First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4. 12-15
The whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not.’
‘I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, “Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.”’ And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That’ said Moses to them ‘is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.
Gospel: John 6:24-35
When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me
because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
‘I tell you solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Connecting the Word
to the first reading
In both the first reading and gospel the bread that is given is bread from God. One satisfies bodily hunger; the other satisfies spiritual hunger for eternal life. Once again, in John’s gospel, Jesus goes beyond Old Testament expectations.
to our culture
Religious belief may be perceived by some as something nice to have but not essential for good living. The gospel explicitly states that belief is essential for eternal life.
A REALHOMILIE FROM FR.KEVIN WALSH
Dear One and All,
Last week we heard about the multiplication of the loaves and fish, not just merely as a free lunch, but deeply teaching that God’s benevolence goes way beyond our limited thinking. In Jesus, the New Testament was being issued in and that the bread of life is in fact limitless and timeless food for our common pilgrimage as we go towards God Our Father. The Bread that Jesus gives as pure Gift and Life for us, is deeply bound to inner reconciliation and acceptance of the Lord’s bounty within each other as individuals and as a Church…..the New Israel built on the shoulders of the twelve apostles. It is good for us to remember that when we pray the Our Father, we say, “thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Gives us this day our daily bread and forgive us our wrongs as we forgive the wrongs that are done to us.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus tries to teach the people about the eternal food He is offering them. He answers a very core and central question, which they put to Him … ‘What does God want us to do?’
Looking at the question, it’s a very simple yet very essential one. However, the answer is much more important. ‘This is what God wants you to do: To believe in the one he has sent.’ The answer is about faith which leads to action, otherwise, it remains up in the head, as mere knowledge. It’s not faith to know that Jesus is God … even the Devil knows that much, but that doesn’t change things. Faith dwells within the heart and is often in our feet as we step out in faith. It’s in our eyes as we look at others in Christ’s way. Faith is in our ears as we listen to our sisters and brothers and is on our tongues as we speak to one another.
Last week I touched on the subject of Faith when I said ‘it seems that Our Lord’s under-`standing of FAITH had a lot to do with VISION: in other words, seeing the saving hand of God in and through the SIGNS and symbolism of everyday life’. As we continue to look at the message within the Gospel, it’s so simple that we can run the risk of complicating it! It is a simple message for very complicated people. If we could become less complicated, our ability to accept and believe the Gospel would become so much easier. For instance; when Jesus speaks about eternal life, He says simply … ‘which I, the Son of Man, can give you.’ In other words, we don’t need a map or GPS to search for it. We know where it is and where and how to get it. The fitting words of James McAuley in his Hymn: – ‘In Faith and Hope and Love’ underlines this point, ‘Christ, our star our map our road, to the Father’s high abode.’ GA 442.
The people asked Jesus to give them that bread every day of their lives. The response given by Jesus is mind blowing; ‘I am the bread of life!’ In the prayer He taught them – the Our Father – they were told to ask for their daily bread. Hence the Celebration of the Eucharist is the central action of worship for the Christian Community alongside with God’s Living Word in the Scriptures. As a community we are fed, with the Bread of God’s Word, we are nourished from the Eucharistic food, and we are sent out to the wider community to be ‘other Christ’s’ and to see with the eyes of Faith, the Christ in each other. It’s also about being Missionary; as we live and move and work among all cultures and Religions in daily life, as well as the many people who do not believe in Jesus or God, but are here just for the ride: the Lord will shine through our words, thoughts and action. However, if we only had one meal a week, we would not have enough sustenance to keep going! We need to be fed every day with Bread from Heaven…..especially in and through God’s Word. We need to re think every day some of God’s Words from the weekend…..upon remembering or seeing something in the passage, we ought to ask ourselves, “Lord, what are you saying to me through your Word.” On the other hand, if we continually dine on ‘fast food’ it will not give us the vitamins to be strong, alert, healthy and joyful people. So, just as we are conscious of eating the right foods…….Coles or Woolworths or IGA are filled with great food. Even our pets get gourmet food!!! My Pet Galah (Parrot) gets the best, so that his feathers will be strong and colourful, and that his supplements will compensate for not being out on the wing with his mates…..Whenever I give my Parrot good food, he says in return, “I love you Kev, does the Bishop know? That’s the big question!”
The Church has underlined time and time again and for a very good reason, why we should celebrate the Eucharist in our Parish Community on the Lord’s Day. The Celebration of the Eucharist is prime time for us to gather, as the living body of Christ, to listen and absorb the Bread of God’s Word, and receive the Bread of life in Holy Communion. Through that weekly action, we are strengthened to go forth and ‘LIVE’ what we have received, and be, who we have received. Hence, faith and action go hand in hand. BUT!!!!!! Like anything that we need to do regularly, if we get out of the habit of it; it’s hard to recover…..it gets harder and harder the longer we leave it. It’s like taking exercise, drinking enough water each day……saying “I love you to your wife/husband/kids”…….we can become like machines: God calls us to be people!
Finally, in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for daily bread – not yesterday’s bread. Do we take the opportunity in seeking the Bread of life through daily prayer … in reflective reading from the Scriptures … responding sensitively to the Christ in one another? It’s all about seeing, believing and doing. Food for thought!!!
OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………
Leader: God sends bread from heaven that we might come to believe in the one sent. We pray for greater faith.
That the Church may be a living sign to the world of bread from heaven in our midst. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That all peoples of the world might believe in God and receive the goodness and compassion of God. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That those suffering from broken relationships might be healed. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That each of us here grow deeper in our faith relationship with Jesus, the Bread of Life. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That families who have elderly relatives, will cherish the times that they can be a loving presence to their dear ones. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones and ipads….who are some of the people in our Global village or need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., we pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
Leader: God of blessings, you send bread from heaven so that we might have eternal life: give us this bread always. We ask this through Christ, the Bread of Life. Amen.
Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.
Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
- The Cross
- ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.
- The bread……………
- ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.
- The pain
- ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.
- The joy………………
- ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.
- The Gospel……………
- ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.
- The love…………
- ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.
- The light……………
- ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
- The darkness……………
- ALL: We shall perish it .Amen.
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