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Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Homily – John 6:51-58 ©


The Gospel According to John – 2018.08.19

The Gospel Reading             John 6:51 - 58
Gospel Acclamation              John 8:56
Ephesians                               5:15 – 20
Psalms                        33(34):2 – 3, 10 – 15
Proverbs                                 9:1 - 6

The Way and the Message

The reading for today is instructive. It speaks to us of the way of life that all Christians are called, if their intention is to follow the way of Jesus.

Let us be clear about this; not all Christians follow the way, and the institutions of the church have been opposed to the way almost from the beginning, though it does not know it. Know this as well, you do not need to be a Christian to follow the way, in fact, because of erroneous teaching, it may be a stumbling block.

Listen!

The Apostle calls us to be moderate and temperate in all the things we do.

We are called to sobriety and rationality, as we are called to the service of our sisters and brothers.

We are not called to service for the sake of our salvation. We are called on to service as a means of giving thanks to God, the creator of the universe.

If our intention is to seek God; look no farther than your heart. You will find God in loving service, in loving you will be blessed, and you will be a blessing to others, both.

Praise God through works of love.

Look for no other glory than the glory of humility, emulate God, whose greatness resides in God’s caring.

Listen to your neighbors, be responsive, rescue them from fear and encourage them. Reflect the lights of hope and love, God is present in these.

Remember this, with God there is no shame. God is no respecter of station, class or wealth. God loves everyone the same.

Do not look for God to save you from your troubles, the divine hand will not reach into our lives and change our circumstance. In this way, we are all Job, the universe is indifferent and full of suffering, but we are not called to indifference, we are called to share the suffering of others, as Christ did, and to alleviate it if we can.

We cannot escape the pains of the world, we are called to have faith in God, that we may understand how transient they are. All pain is temporary, only love lasts forever.

Do not fear.

Speak the truth.

Avoid evil.

Do good.

God see all and hears all, God knows all, even our innermost thoughts, our secrets and desires, our true motivations. God understands our experience even as we understand it ourselves, seeing through our eyes, feeling what we feel.

Keep your mind in the present and do not focus on the good things that may or may not come.

God loves us always, but it is only in the present moment that we experience it, that we are able to share it with others.

Listen only to those who teach hope…ignore the fear-mongers, except insofar as you are sharing the truth with them.

This is the way to peace.

The Apostle calls us to be moderate and temperate in all the things we do.

We are called to sobriety and rationality and to the service of our sisters and brothers.

We are not called on to do this for the sake of our salvation. We are called on to do this as a means of giving thanks to God, the creator of the universe.
We are saved because God wills it. Give thanks for it, and do not place your faith in anything else.

The eucharist is not magical food.

Eating the bread and drinking the wine does not confer the gift of eternal life,

Christians do a disservice to the memory of Jesus when they use the eucharist to divide people from one another, splitting them into groups of insiders and outsiders, and by withholding the grave which they believe it confers.

The eucharist may only be seen as a sacrament insofar as it fulfills the ministry of Jesus, which is to foster hope through the loving service we provide to one another.

The bread and the wine are the flesh and blood of the church, literally feeding the members through the gifts the members themselves bring to be shared at the common table.


First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6 ©

Wisdom Builds Her House and Invites All to Eat Her Bread There

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.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33(34):2-3,10-15 ©

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Revere the Lord, you his saints.
  They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
  but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Come, children, and hear me
  that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life
  and many days, to enjoy his prosperity?

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Then keep your tongue from evil
  and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn aside from evil and do good;
  seek and strive after peace.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20 ©

Be Filled Not with Wine, but With the Spirit

Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation: John 6:56

Alleluia, alleluia!
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me, and I live in him,
says the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel: John 6:51-58 ©

My Flesh is Real Food and My Blood is Real Drink

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.’


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time