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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary: 113

August 4, 2018

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 113

Reading 1 Ex 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

-We all have bad days but when things are so bad, that slavery in Egypt begins to look good?  Now that is a really tough situation.  Notice that they do not complain against god.  The people go after Moses and Aaron.  I guess they knew better.  Later on, though, the people will complain that they do not like the food God has provided and that does not end well for another forty years.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54

  1. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
    What we have heard and know,
    and what our fathers have declared to us,
    We will declare to the generation to come
    the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
    and the wonders that he wrought.
    R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
    He commanded the skies above
    and opened the doors of heaven;
    he rained manna upon them for food
    and gave them heavenly bread.
    R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
    Man ate the bread of angels,
    food he sent them in abundance.
    And he brought them to his holy land,
    to the mountains his right hand had won.
    R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Reading 2 Eph 4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,

assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

St. Paul challenges the people of Ephesus, and us, to reject the ways of pagan society and establish a society built on the Gospel.  It was not a call to move away geographically, but attitudinally.  That call is ours today.

Alleluia Mt 4:4b

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    One does not live on bread alone,
    but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are 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,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,

“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

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.”

Jesus begins by criticizing the motivation of those who were seeking Him.  They were looking for another free meal.  Maybe something a little better than bread and fish this time.

-The people express the desire to “do the works of God”, but Jesus has a very different definition of what that means.  They remind Jesus about the manna in the desert, once more hinting at another free meal.  They do not get it.  Some folks still don’t two millennia later.

Questions for Discussion & Decision:

  • Have you ever gotten tired of being Catholic with all that it entails?
  • Have you ever been jealous of somebody who lived a sinful life and converted on his or her deathbed?
  • What motivates you to pray? To assist at Sunday Mass?
  • Does the Gospel form your perspective on everything, including:
    • Finances?
    • Entertainment?
    • Vacation plans?
    • Politics?
    • Leisure activity?
    • Sex?
    • Socializing?

Let us pray!

Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul.

Come into my heart and permeate my soul.

Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart.

I am Yours to possess.

 I am Yours to use.

I want to be selfless and only exist in You.

Help me to spoon out all that is me

 and be an empty vessel ready to be filled by You.

Help me to die to myself and live only for You.

Use me as You will.

Let me never draw my attention back to myself.

I only want to operate as You do, dwelling within me.

I am Yours, Lord.

I want to have my life in You.

I want to do the will of the Father.

Give me the strength to put aside the world

and let You operate my very being.

Help me to act as You desire.

Strengthen me against the distractions of the devil to take me from Your work.

When I worry, I have taken my focus off of You and placed it on myself.

Help me not to give in to the promptings of others

to change what in my heart You are making very clear to me.

 I worship You, I adore You and I love You.

 Come and dwell in me now and forever.  Amen.

Prosit!

Fr. John

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