Gospel Reflection – Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

AUGUST 9, 2015

 Alleluia, Alleluia.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;

whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint John 6: 41-51

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?  Do we not know his father and mother?  Then how can he say,
‘I have come down from heaven’?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves.  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.  It is written in the prophets:

                   They shall all be taught by God

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.  Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.  Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life

I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

This Sunday’s Gospel is the third part of our five week spiritual reflection on the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel. Since this happens ONLY once every three years, it is so important for us to seize the moment to delve more deeply into our understanding, appreciation and belief in the incredible gift of Jesus Christ both the WISDOM OF GOD and the DIVINE BREAD OF LIFE.   During Holy Mass we experience and encounter this full manifestation of Jesus Christ in the Word proclaimed and in the Eucharist offered and shared.

In the first week of our reflection, Jesus demonstrated that He is the fullness of life by healing and feeding the crowd: Jesus is the divine physician and the bread of life!

Last week the exchange between Jesus and the crowd grew in intensity as Jesus challenged the so-called followers to go beyond their immediate needs for temporary health and perishable food and recognize Him, Jesus Christ as the Life of God sent to them:

                   The bread of God … which comes down from heaven

                             and gives life to the world.

The Jews react to this incredible revelation of Jesus that He is the eternal life of God by doing what their ancestors did in the desert when they did not receive from God the kind of food they wanted – The Jews murmured.   In typical human fashion when we are challenged especially by God we become very defensive and we attempt to justify our thoughts and feelings to the almighty instead of just listening!!!

In order for us to deeply appreciate the words of the Gospel that we hear every Sunday we must be open (drop our defenses), prepared (preview the Gospel before Mass), and listen with our hearts and not just with our ears — Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.

God the Father has spoken to us by sending His beloved son as the bread of life – to give life to a world that would perish without Him — Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

How do we encounter this bread of life, this bread from heaven that gives eternal life?  As Catholics we need to be patient and read carefully the whole sixth chapter of John’s Gospel and not jump quickly to centering only on the Eucharist, as important as that is. A more careful reading would clearly indicate that Jesus Christ is the complete and fullness of life that God intends for us – Jesus Christ is the first and greatest Sacramentour tangible and real encounter with God’s life and love.  And this first and greatest Sacrament, Jesus Christ is manifested in WORD and EUCHARIST!  Jesus is the WORD of God spoken to us by His whole life, words and actions; the EUCHARIST is Jesus Christ the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

addiction-support family find-us history grief-or-loss marriage mens storiespng testimonial womens young-adulthood healing our-grounds prayers calendar malvern-live retreats2go plan-your-visit donate