Sunday 5 August 2018

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15, 31
Responsorial Psalm 78:3-4, 23-26 Response 24b
Second Reading Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
Gospel John 6:24-35

This week we read about the manna from heaven, and Jesus the true bread of life. And the Psalm ties the two readings together, it is a psalm of remembrance. It is remembrance that we often need as believers. We need to remember the works of God from the past, and we need to remember the works of Jesus in the New Testament, and we need to remember the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives in our communities and in our families.

The first reading from Exodus is the people are complaining, they say it would have been better to die in Egypt with a full stomach as slaves, then perish from hunger in the desert. They have already forgotten the night the Angels passed over their homes, They have forgotten the crushing of Pharaoh's army in the sea. They have forgotten, and are not remembering. But God has mercy on them and sends them quale at night and manna in the morning. And though we do not get it in this reading, if we were to read a little further, some people took more manna than they needed, not trusting yet again, and by morning it turned to maggots. And that is what happens in our lives when we try to do it on our own, it turns to maggots, to dust and ashes. Only by working with God, and allowing God to work in us will we truly bear fruit. 

This we are reminded of in the Psalm:

"Things that we have heard and known, 
that our ancestors have told us, 
we will not hide;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, 
and his might
and the wonders that he has done.

He commanded the skies,
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained down on them manna to eat,
and gave them the bread of heaven.

Man ate of the bread of Angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy hill,
to the mountain that his right hand had won."

Then in the second reading We have Paul imploring us again to live our calling in Christ. We are reminded not to live as Gentiles, not in futility of mind; but to put away our former life and live our new life in Christ Jesus. And then we come to the Gospel. The crowd pursues Jesus after the miracle of the bread and fish from last week. And they ask for another sign. And Jesus states:

"I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
And whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

And that is the promise our faith rests on. Not the behaviour of those in authority, nor what society teaches. We come to Jesus and he feeds and sustains us. And as he established this church it will prevail even against the current political situation, and the corruption within. We need to turn our eyes back to Jesus, seek him in the confessional, and on the altar. And he will not leave us hungry.

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