20th Sunday in ordinary time Year B….2015 The First Reading and Gospel for the Sunday. A realhomiliefrom Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey
Sorry for no pictures this time around….have had some massive computer problems…beyond me! Next week, we hope!
First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom has built herself a house,
she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.’
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 6:51-58
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
The Focus for this Sunday:
This Sunday the gospel shifts from God sending bread (Jesus) to Jesus giving bread (his flesh and blood) ‘for the life of the world.’ Jesus’ self-giving is fulfilled on the cross and made present now in the Eucharist. Our eating his flesh and drinking his blood draws us into this same mystery of self-giving and new life!
to the first reading
The challenge to ‘advance in the way of understanding’ (first reading) aptly applies to the mystery of the Eucharist. The mystery requires not only that we live it but that we contemplate its depths and grow in its demands.
to Catholic culture
A venerable Catholic tradition is eucharistic adoration. This adoration flows from our full and active participation in the eucharistic liturgy, and leads to a life of eucharistic self-giving. The prayer of adoration realised in its fullness is to see God’s people through the Eucharist, fortified by the ultimate meaning of the action of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. This would seem to be the real challenge in the prayer of adoration. This point is extremely important for us to realise and understand, otherwise our adoration could start and finish at gazeing at the consecrated Host.
A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
In today’s gospel Jesus, and the Community of John, who put together this version of the Good News, goes to even greater lengths in teaching his listeners the central truth of the Eucharist. In persevering with this teaching, many of Our Lord’s listeners refused to accept it, and he loses them as followers. Let us now explore what Jesus is talking about.
What we call ‘Holy Communion’ is but a part of what we understand as ‘Eucharist’. In our celebration of Mass we have The action of Gathering, the Liturgy of the Word, then the Liturgy of the Eucharist, followed by the commission to Mission……’Go in peace to love and serve the Lord…” We are energised from the living Body of Christ, that is the gathered community, nourished from the Word of God, and fed with the Bread of life. We bring what gifts we have, what talents or ‘good will’ we possess, and we offer these to God, embracing it with the deepest expression of praise and thanksgiving. ‘Eucharist’ comes from the Greek word: eucharistia, which means “thanksgiving”. We may think that we may not have much to give to God, but whatever we have is enough. We are reminded of this in the beautiful Hymn written by Deidre Browne:
‘Come as you are, that’s how I want you, come as you are fell quiet at home. Close to my heart, loved and forgiven; come as you are, why stand alone?’ GA 212.
If time permits, it would be a worthwhile prayerful exercise to read today’s gospel once again before we approach the Altar for Holy Communion. By receiving the Eucharist, we are saying ‘Yes’ to the gospel, and we are declaring our acceptance of the offer that Jesus is making. Our response in faith, to the Bread of Life, is to take seriously that we are a people who are connected together in Christ, on our way to the Father. Equally, we are commissioned not only to live the Good News in daily life, but to be what we have received….namely the Living Body of Christ.
So, everything to do with Eucharist is pure gift. Even the willingness and readiness to accept and believe it is, in itself, is a gift. ‘ Flesh and blood does not reveal this…but my Father in Heaven ‘ says the Lord.’ We should pray frequently asking the Spirit of God to enlighten us, to increase and strengthen our faith, to enkindle within us the fire of divine love, and to stir up within us a zeal and enthusiasm for things of God.
Finally, the teaching and invitation that comes to us through God’s Word today, calls us to check out our inner dispositions as we prepare for frequent Celebrations of the Eucharist! Many people still believe that the most important part of the Mass is Holy Communion! That is not true! We are not going to Mass as if we were going to a Petrol Station to ‘fill up’, so as to speak. The Reception of Communion implies much more: the reception of God’s Word, and the realisation that the people with whom we gather, is in fact the living body of Christ! Our attention needs to be on all aspects and movements of the Celebration of the Eucharist. So therefore this is a good time to check out our dispositions prior to and during the Eucharistic Celebration. Are we thinking about other things, like what we will be doing after Mass? Are we alerting ourselves to listening to God’s Word? Or do we daydream? ‘Lord, what are you saying to me through your Holy Word? How is my life to be changed?’
Are we ‘at one’ with the Presider (Priest) as he prays the Eucharistic Prayer on our behalf? Or are we tempted to check our Mobile/Cellphone for messages, or Facebook notifications? Is our Amen at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer a real…SO MAY IT BE! Are we engaged in silent prayerful communion, as we move in procession to receive the Bread of life? Or are we looking from side to side to see if we know someone? After receiving Holy Communion at Mass what do we do? Do we read the Bulletin, or check for emails on our Ipads etc? Or do we sing the thanksgiving Hymn prayerfully, which has been especially chosen to respond to God’s word? Or do we pray silently? Or day dream?
The Celebration of the Eucharist is a ‘living drama’ it has a number of movements, symbolic gestures and full and active participation by everyone is what it is all about. The meaning of the word LITURGY, is a ‘work’ that is done by all…..it comes from a very ancient concept of rowing a huge boat, like that of the Romans, Greeks and Vikings.
Let’s consider the meaning of Liturgy compared to Rubrics! In rowing a boat, let us not lose sight of the the Christian meaning of ‘the boat’! The Church has always been referred to as an image of a boat! One needs someone at the rudder, someone needs to keep the rowers in time, like using the beat of a drum. The Wind in the sails also assists in moving it forward…If a few of the Rowers decided to drop the oars and check out the views, their actions would upset the whole activity….now can you see the parralles with Liturgical Worship? Liturgy is ‘alive’, it is active and can involve people very deeply in the Celebration. On the other hand, Rubrics, which are often said to be Liturgy, is totally incorrect; it is often cold, uninviting; leaving the so called involvement to the Choir, the Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and the faithful sit, stand or kneel in so called humble submission! The ceremonial vestments are generally elobrate and extremely expensive! Generally the faces of those involved look sickly, cold and terribly aneomic! LIFELESS! To look LIFELESS does not mean that we are looking Holy!
Cocker Spaniel dogs look sad most of the time, but they can give a decent lick as a sign of welcome to loving people. The great St.Therese once said in prayer, ” Lord, save me from silly devotions and sour faced saints!” She was spot on in her observations.
So, to conclude, the celebration of the Eucharist, must be involving, spiritual and inclusive as well as experiencing all the emotions and moods of the Psalms.
If the celebration of the Mass becomes routine, dull, and boring, just sticking at it is not enough; the match must be lit in the right places to turn the experience into real Liturgy!
Please note, that I am expressing a very high standard about Liturgical experience, but we must never be satisfied that we must never rock the boat, if change is needed. No, sometimes people get afraid to voice their opinion in certain circles, but we all must be FREE to be faithful!
In gratitude, I pay my deepest respects to Fr.Gregory Manly CP (Deceased) who inspired me, and enabled me to understand what living Liturgy is all about. A Passionist Religious/a very fine Professor, a visionary way ahead of his times, and still is today.. “Holy Cross” Templestowe VIC.
OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………
Leader: We place our needs before God, mindful that God nourishes us and strengthens us.
- That members of the Church always raise grateful hearts in praise for the gift of Eucharist. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.
- That all nations enjoy the peace that anticipates everlasting life. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our praye
- That those who are quarrelling because of misunderstandings come to unity in the Body and Blood of Christ. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.
- That all of us nourished by the Eucharist give ourselves in self-sacrifice for the sake of others. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer
- That while we engage in Eucharistic Adoration, that our eyes of faith will see Christ’s living Body in its brokenness and wholeness. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer
- 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…………., Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer
Leader: O wondrous God, you give us the gift of your Sons Body and Blood: hear these our prayers that we might remain in him and come one day to live forever with you. We ask this through that same Jesus Christ our Lord. 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
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