Sunday 19 August 2018

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Proverbs 9:1-6
Responsorial Psalm 34:1-2, 9-14 Response 8
Second Reading Ephesians 5:15-20
Gospel John 6:51-58

For the fourth week in a row we focus on Jesus being the bread of life. Both the first reading and the psalm have to do with seeking wisdom. Paul in the second reading exhorts us to right living with very clear examples, and in the Gospel Jesus explains the flesh and blood. The themes from the past few weeks are repeated, even the first section of the Psalm is a direct repeat of last week. That tells us very clearly this lesson is important. We need to pause and really reflect upon the lessons in these readings.

From the first reading:

"You who are simple, turn in here!"
To those without sense she says, 
"Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight."

Wisdom is needed in this day and age. With what the world is throwing at us, and with what is being brought to the light from within the church. Now more than ever we need to be praying for renewal and healing, both within the church and for those who have been hurt by it. From the Psalm we are reminded to seek the Lord, and fear. But the fear should be that of recognizing God's holiness and out unworthy

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.

O fear the Lord, You his holy ones,
for those who fear him have no want.
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good. Thing

Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord,
Which of you desires life,
and covets man days to enjoy good?

Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.

R. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Paul reminds us to be careful in how we live in the second reading, about avoiding drunkenness, about not being foolish. He reminds us to be filled with the Spirit and to give thanks. I wonder how we would live if we read this passage every day for a week, for a month? When I was in university a chaplain challenged us to read 1 chapter of Proverbs ever month, at the end of the year you would have read it through close to 12 times. It had a deep impact. But for us I would challenges us to read this passage each day for a week, maybe even a month and see the impact it has on you, on your relationship, on your work life.

And now we arrive at the gospel. In today's language we would say that Jesus is doubling down. He is even more emphatic in his statement:

"Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is the true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in them."

I marvel at stories of Saints that survive for long periods on just communion. I know how nourishing it is to my spirit, and how central to my life it is. I cannot imagine not partaking as often as I can. I am comforted just sitting in a church in from of the tabernacle, stopping in to say hi to Jesus. And I know that this is what distinguishes us most as Catholics. 

I pray for you for a blessed weak.

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