Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Homily for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – on the Gospel

By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp

Bread that Came Down from Heaven

1 Kings 19:4-8

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

John 6:41-51

A community of nuns in Paris usually has a priest come in every evening at 4:00 pm to celebrate the Eucharist with them. One day the priest fell suddenly ill and asked a visiting African priest to help him out. The African priest showed up at the convent at about 3:55 pm and rang the doorbell. Following the prevailing custom in Paris at the time, he was dressed in casual and not in clerical outfit. A nun quickly answered the door thinking that their priest had arrived. She was taken aback when she saw an African face. Without giving the visitor a chance to say why he came, she quickly dismissed him thinking that he had come to ask for help. “Sorry we cannot help you,” said the nun. “We are having Mass now. Come back some other time.” “Thank you, Sister!” said the priest. And he turned back and left. A few minutes later, phones were ringing in the rectory. It was the nuns. They said they were still waiting for the priest. You can imagine their embarrassment when they learnt that he came and they sent him away.

Why did these holy nuns miss the celebration of the Eucharist they were waiting for? No, it was not because they were bad people. It was simply because the priest that came to them did not look like the priest they were expecting to come. The reality before them differed from their expectations and they did not recognize the moment of their visitation. Dear friends this is precisely the problem the Galileans in today’s gospel had with Jesus.

The opening and the closing verses of today’s gospel reading speak of “the bread that came down from heaven.” This could as well be the theme of the gospel. And it holds the key to the understanding of what is going on in the story. You see, the people expected the Messiah to, literally, come down from heaven. They were waiting for spectacular events and supernatural manifestations in the sky when they would literally see the Anointed of God coming down in the clouds. So when Jesus came forward and claimed that “I am He,”(John 8:24,28) they could not reconcile the reality before them with the expectations in their minds.

Jesus they knew all too well, or at least so they thought. They knew when and where and how he came, from Mary and Joseph. “Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say: I have come down from heaven?’” (John 6:41-42). As the controversy deepens they become even more explicit: ‘Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from” (7:27).

We can see, therefore, that the problem the Jews of Jesus’ time had with the idea of flesh becoming bread was basically an extension of the problem they had with the idea of the word becoming flesh. If we can relate to the mystery of God’s love for us, which prompted the almighty and eternal God to become an ordinary, mortal Man like we are, then we are more likely to relate with the mystery of this Man becoming bread, again as an act of love for us. But if we insist that God must meet our expectations and our reasoning before we can believe, then we are in for a big surprise.

How does God come down from heaven? How does God come into our lives? Today’s gospel shows us that God comes to us in the ordinary people we meet in our everyday lives. The question is not whether God comes to us or not but whether we are able to recognize God at work in our lives. Today let us take a second look at those persons we only know too well — or at least we think we do — those people we often take for granted. These men, women and children may indeed be the messengers that God in His providence has sent to us to educate and prepare us for eternal life.

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Homily for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – on the Epistle

By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp

Imitating God

1 Kings 19:4-8

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

John 6:41-51

One of Aesop’s better known fables is that of The Two Crabs. One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a stroll on the sand. “Child,” said the mother, “you are walking very ungracefully. You should accustom yourself, to walking straight forward without twisting from side to side.”
“Pray, mother,” said the young one, “do but set the example yourself, and I will follow you.” The fable concludes with these words of wisdom: Example is the best precept.

In today’s second reading, Paul asks the Ephesians to do something which he never asked anyone else to do in all his other letters, something that sounds like an impossibility. He asks them to “be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1). It is true that, as God’s children, God is our ultimate ideal. One of the covenant commands that God gave to the people of Israel is “You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). To be holy means to be godly, and to be godly means to be like God. So it makes good sense to ask Christians, who know themselves to be God’s children, to imitate God. But there is a problem. We need to see before we can imitate. As the Baby Crab reminded the Mother Crab, we need someone we can see to set the example, to walk before us and then we can follow. God is our ideal and our standard, but we need a role model. Paul has an answer ready for us, Christ is our role model. He has set the example for us to follow.

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 4:31-32; 5:2)

Christ is our model both in regard to the vices, the bad habits we need to uproot from our lives, and in regard to the virtues, the good habits we need cultivate.

As for the vices, we are to put away from us “all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice” (4:31). This embraces negative thoughts (bitterness), negative feelings and attitudes (wrath and anger), negative words (wrangling and slander) and negative behaviour towards other people (malice). Just as Jesus did not let any of these negative habits find a place in his thought, his discourse and his conduct, so also should we make no room for them in ours. This includes all the thou-shall-nots. They are things we should stay away from just as Jesus stayed away from them.

On a more positive note, Jesus also gives us an example with regard to the positive habits and attitudes that we should cultivate in our lives. This includes thinking of other people, speaking of them or to them, and treating them with kindness, tenderness and compassion. To forgive means to give up our right to get even. We forgive not become the other deserves to be forgiven but because we need to forgive as God has forgiven us in Christ (4:32). If you find it hard to forgive someone, as many of us do, it is probably because you do not sufficiently appreciate how freely and totally God has forgiven you in Christ and continues to forgive you through the sacraments of the church

Forgiving others is just the first step. It costs us nothing but swallowing our pride and self -importance and letting go of the other. Following the example of Christ goes way beyond that. As the passage continues, it demands that we “live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (5:2). To love as Christ loved means not simply letting go of the guilty (forgiveness) but denying ourselves and sacrificing something that is precious to us to help that person. In the case of Christ, he sacrificed his very self. Most likely we are not being asked to sacrifice our very lives, only certain conveniences. If we keep looking to Jesus as our model, we can.

Before we go out and start following in the footsteps of Christ, we need one more thing. We need a spiritual coach, a step-by-step trainer who accompanies us all the way. That is the Holy Spirit. Paul advises us not to grieve or resist the Holy Spirit, our spiritual guide. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption” (4:30). We grieve or resist the Holy Spirit when we fail to listen to His directives in our lives or, having listened to his directives, still fail to carry them out. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit not only enlightens us as to what to do but also gives us the spiritual empowerment we need to do the right thing. And so we are enabled to imitate the God we cannot see: by having our Lord Jesus Christ as our role model and the Holy Spirit of God as our step-by-step coach in our spiritual journey through life.

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

 Homily # 1

1 Kings 19:4-8; John 6:41-51

Physical and Spiritual Food

There is great physical hunger in our world ranging from 5,000 people here in Edmond who live below the poverty line to half of the world’s population—3.3 billion people—who live on less that $2 per day.

I am reminded of this physical hunger each day because I lead our parish efforts to support families in Peru who live on less than $2 per day. Peru is a country where 45% of the people are unemployed because of past mistakes by the government that destroyed the country’s economy. Our parish helps make a difference one family at a time.

Six years ago my family began supporting a family of three in Peru. We began because it seemed like the right thing to do. Four years ago I made my first trip to Peru and spent time with our family and saw that they lived in a small “hut” with practically nothing in it. The father works periodically. Before I left on the trip, I told them that I could baptize their daughter, if necessary. They wrote back and asked if I would also marry them. Both sacraments took place.

Last month I visited our family again and noticed that their physical hunger is less. Their daughter, Mileny, who in past years sat on my lap during daily Mass, has put on so much weight that my leg would now go to sleep. Also, at almost eight years old, Mileny’s head already reaches her mother’s shoulder. The whole family is healthier because of a monthly food package of $25 per month plus vitamins that we ship to them.

While these efforts are admirable, and although the statistics quoted above are staggering, they pertain solely to physical hunger. Equally alarming are the statistics which estimate that approximately three billion members of the human family suffer from chronic spiritual hunger and/or malnutrition. These hunger pangs must also be recognized since they can be just as lethal as their physical counterparts.

In today’s first reading, the spiritually hungry are offered the example of Elijah. Dedication to his prophetic ministry had made him persona non grata at the court of Ahab and his scheming bride Jezebel. Just when Elijah thought all was lost and prayed for death, God renewed him. His physical appetite was satisfied with a hearth cake and water; his spiritual needs were quenched by the supportive presence of God. Because the prophet spoke forth the truth for God, he was not to suffer the hunger of abandonment and despair.

Continued in today’s gospel is the bread of life discourse through which the evangelist illustrates that Jesus, who had ministered to the physical hunger of the crowd, was also attentive to their spiritual cravings. Breaking open the barley loaves, he had nourished their bodies; now he was breaking open the bread of his teaching in order to feed their minds and hearts. Jesus’ invitation to hear and to learn, to come to him, to eat and to believe so as to live forever is as timely now as it was 2000 years ago. All that is required is a hunger.

Again, in Peru by helping meet physical needs, I see spiritual needs being met. At first some people were so depressed by not being able to feed their children that they wanted to die. Slowly, people began moving from despair to hope as we began supporting their material needs. Our own adopted family is now married in the Church and can now go to Communion with us when we visit them.

This year I received photos of the pastor in Peru personally delivering the first food packages to 24 newly adopted families in the rural village of La Piedra. He asks the families to go to church each week to pray for their St. Monica families. I can assure you that they do when I see every Sunday Mass overflowing with worshipers.

We are the hands and feet of Jesus today. In the Our Father, we say “give us this day our daily bread.” If we are living on excess daily bread—more than $2 per day, then we must decide how we can share with the 3.3 billion people in the world who live on less.

Each week the Church puts the gathered assembly in touch with the food that will satisfy its hungers. Each week the community is fed with the bread of life, in both word and sacrament; nourished by this essential food, every believer receives the strength needed for continuing to live a committed life.


Homily # 2

Faith is a vital element in our growing process with God.  Our Gospel today presents to us a marvelous teaching about Jesus’ real identity. Jesus presents Himself before the crowds as someone capable of giving true and eternal life to those who believe in Him.

However, we cannot dismiss those famous criticisms that came from His people. Jesus responds to those criticisms by showing to them His true identity, and He presents Himself as an authentic food capable of bringing eternal life.

One of those criticisms had to deal with His origin.  Since people knew Jesus’ family it was so difficult for them to conceive in their minds that Jesus had a divine origin. So, how is it possible that an ordinary man, like them, could be source of eternal life?

Before He demonstrated that He truly came from the Father—divine origin—Jesus makes a statement saying that if they fail in recognizing Him is due to their little faith.  And the lack of faith somehow shuts the door of our life to God. Not to believe in Jesus implies not to believe in God, because it is only in Jesus that the fullness and definite revelation of the Father can be found.  Jesus is the One who has seen the Father and He can show the Father to those who are willing to believe in Him.

It is at this point where those words from the Book of Revelation come to my mind, “Look, I am standing at the door, knocking.  If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3,20). Christ eagerly desires to come into our lives and sit at our table.

Our Gospel today ends with the verb “to eat:” “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.”  There are some other important verbs to consider: “to come,” “to see,” and “to believe.”  Only the doorway of faith in Christ can guarantee salvation, the access to eternal life with God.

Prophet Elijah was a great man of faith, but as all human beings, fragile and limited, suffered from a crisis of faith.  Our first reading today presents Elijah to us as tired, fatigued, sad, and even running away.  He feels a crude persecution against his life, and he even believes that God has abandoned him in spite of being faithful to God and risking everything for His glory.  In his desperation a terrifying cry is heard, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life.”

We, in the same way as Elijah, can feel tired, frustrated and even in darkness.  We feel as if we had lost all meaning in life; and we look back and ask ourselves if all the good we did was of any worth because we can’t see the fruits from that behavior; as if between God and us existed a great barrier.

But at no moment at all God abandoned Elijah, God only wanted for his faith to grow and mature even more.  God helped him by sending an angel who said to him, “Get up and eat.”  The angel had to insist a second time because Elijah was severely depressed. Finally Elijah, as he could, stood up and ate and “then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb (Sinai).”

People kept following Jesus in their search for an answers that could give true meaning to their lives, and Jesus had the answer, but what they did not have was enough faith; because they were listening to His words but could no grasp their meaning: “I am the living bread.”  It was difficult for them to accept that Jesus, a man of their race, son of a carpenter named Joseph, could come from heaven.  In the same way that God sent manna from heaven to satisfy their hunger in the dessert and later on died, now God satisfies our hunger with His Son, who has the “words of everlasting life,” and whoever eats His living bread will never die.

Many times in our own pilgrimage we encounter exhausting, cloudy, cold, and even frightening days.  Yet God, who never abandons us, prepares a meal to strengthen us in our way: Jesus in the Eucharist.  So, that by His body and drinking His blood we may “see and believe” in Christ, the door of salvation for everyone, and true meaning to our lives.

Faith implies work and sacrifice.  It implies the sacrifice of allowing ourselves to be enlightened by Christ, and the work of deepening our free given faith. Christ’s wish is for our faith to grow and mature in order to produce the expected fruits.

Through this banquet of God’s living Word, Jesus Christ, we are enlightened and guided, we are animated and fortified. And this banquet reaches its fullness once we eat His Body and drink His Blood under the species of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist.

This Holy Eucharist that we celebrate together is the best way to learn and grow in our faith. How? Allowing Christ, our King and Teacher, to instruct us in our faith, in order “to grow and have life” in Him.  Just remember, whoever builds his house on sand, sooner or later it would be destroyed by the ocean waves or the strong wind, but whoever builds his house on a firm rock, Jesus Christ our “cornerstone,” there would be no wind or ocean waves that could tear it down.

Long Live Christ the King!


Homily # 3

TODAY WE RESUME THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SIXTH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN (AFTER HAVING BEEN “PRE-EMPTED” LAST SUNDAY BY THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION). THIS PART OF JOHN’S GOSPEL IS KNOWN AS JESUS’ DISCOURSE ON THE BREAD OF LIFE. LET’S RECAP WHAT WE HAVE HEARD THUS FAR.

JESUS’ MIRACLES HAD CAUSED QUITE A CROWD TO START FOLLOWING HIM. AT ONE POINT THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE GATHERED THAT JESUS DID NOT WANT TO SEND THEM HOME WITHOUT SOMETHING TO EAT. THE PEOPLE HAD NOT BROUGHT FOOD FOR THEMSELVES, SO JESUS WORKED A MIRACLE. HE FED FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE FROM ONLY FIVE LOAVES OF BREAD AND A COUPLE OF FISH. THIS MIRACLE SEEMED TO ENSURE JESUS A PERMANENT FOLLOWING. IT ALSO GAVE JESUS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH THE PEOPLE ABOUT “ANOTHER BREAD”, A BREAD FROM HEAVEN, A BREAD WHICH WOULD SATISFY EVERY HUNGER.

THE PROMISE OF THIS BREAD FROM HEAVEN IS REMINISCENT OF JESUS’ PROMISE TO THE SAMARITAN WOMAN AT THE WELL. AS SHE CAME TO DRAW HER DAILY SUPPLY OF WATER JESUS PROMISED HER “LIVING WATER”, A WATER THAT WOULD SATISFY HER THIRST FOREVER. JUST AS THE SAMARITAN WOMEN BEGGED JESUS FOR THIS WATER – NOT UNDERSTANDING AT ALL THAT JESUS WAS SPEAKING OF NO EARTHLY WATER, BUT OF THE WATERS OF ETERNAL LIFE – SO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FOLLOWING JESUS ASK FOR THE HEAVENLY BREAD – NOT EVEN IMAGINING WHAT THIS BREAD ACTUALLY IS.

FIRST JESUS REMINDS HIS FOLLOWERS OF THE HEAVENLY BREAD THAT GOD PROVIDED FOR THEIR ANCESTORS WHILE THEY WANDERED IN THE DESERT AFTER THE EXODUS. THIS MANNA WAS TRULY MIRACULOUS, TRULY DIVINE BREAD. BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ATE IT DIED NONETHELESS. THE “NEW” BREAD FROM HEAVEN WOULD GIVE THOSE WHO ATE IT ETERNAL LIFE.

UP TO THIS POINT JESUS HAS THE PEOPLE IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND. BUT THAT IS ABOUT TO COME TO AN END. THE BREAD OF WHICH JESUS HAS BEEN SPEAKING HE NOW IDENTIFIES AS HIMSELF. “I AM THE BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN,” HE PROCLAIMS. WHAT HAD PREVIOUSLY CAPTURED THE IMAGINATIONS OF THE PEOPLE NOW BEGINS TO PUT THEM OFF. THIS IS, AFTER ALL, JESUS, THE CARPENTER’S SON FROM NAZARETH. WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY MEAN BY CLAIMING TO BE “BREAD FROM HEAVEN”? THEY ARE MURMURING THIS WAY AMONGST THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE VOICE OF GOD IN JESUS. INSTEAD THE PEOPLE RELY ON THEIR OWN LOGIC. FOR MANY OF THEM THIS WILL PROVE TO BE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE.

HAVING SAID THAT HE IS THE BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, JESUS BECOMES QUITE EXPLICIT IN HIS TEACHING. “THIS BREAD IS MY FLESH FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD.” IT IS THE TEACHING THAT PROVES TO BE THE TURNING POINT. OUR GOSPEL PASSAGE TODAY ENDS WITH THIS STATEMENT – A KIND OF CLIFFHANGER. BUT WE KNOW WELL WHAT THE RESPONSE OF MANY IN THE CROWD WILL BE. THE IDEA OF A MAN GIVING HIS FLESH TO EAT AND HIS BLOOD TO DRINK WILL BE ALTOGETHER TOO MUCH FOR THEM. UNABLE TO ACCEPT THIS ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE REVELATION, MANY WHO HAD BEEN JESUS’ FOLLOWERS WILL NO LONGER WALK WITH HIM.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE LORD, THESE SUNDAYS ON WHICH WE HEAR JESUS’ MAGNIFICENT DISCOURSE ON THE BREAD OF LIFE ARE A GOD-GIVEN OPPORTUNITY FOR EACH OF US TO RENEW OUR UNDERSTANDING OF AND BELIEF IN THE EUCHARIST – THE TRUE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS GIVEN TO US BY THE LORD HIMSELF AT THE LAST SUPPER AND ANNOUNCED EARLY IN HIS MINISTRY AS RECORDED BY ST. JOHN.

ALL OF US ARE RIGHTLY DISCOURAGED, EVEN SADDENED, BY THE STATISTICS WE HEAR, NAMELY, THAT MORE THAN ONE HALF OF ALL CATHOLIC PEOPLE EITHER DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR DO NOT FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE EUCHARIST IS TRULY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS UNDER THE FORMS OF BREAD AND WINE. WE HAVE PERHAPS READ OF THE ATTEMPTS OF SOME “THEOLOGIANS” TO MAKE A MORE PALATABLE

UNDERSTANDING OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE EUCHARIST. “THE EUCHARIST IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS IN A MERELY SYMBOLIC WAY,” SOME WILL SAY. BUT THIS IS NOT WHAT JESUS TAUGHT. AS MUCH AS SOME OF HIS FOLLOWERS WANTED HIM TO MODIFY HIS TEACHING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT MORE ACCEPTABLE, JESUS WOULD NOT DO IT. RATHER HE INSISTED ON THE REALITY OF HIS BODILY PRESENCE AS FOOD FOR OUR SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT.

DO WE REALLY APPRECIATE WHAT AN INESTIMABLE GIFT WE HAVE IN THE EUCHARIST? DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE LIVING GOD IS PRESENT IN THE TABERNACLES OF OUR CHURCHES AND ON OUR ALTARS AT MASS? THIS IS THE BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, THE FORETASTE OF THE ETERNAL LIFE OF HEAVEN. MAY THE EUCHARIST TRULY BE THE CENTER OF OUR LIVES.


Homily # 4

Theme: Choose Life. Live Life. Share Your Life With Others

Life is about survival. The desire to live inspite of set backs. Many sickpatients recover and continue to live because they desire to live. They love life and live it to the fullest. They never give up on themselves or others. Most of all, they have faith in God.

Our first reading is a story of hardship from the Book of Kings. Elijah, becomes discouraged, tired and depressed. Although he had defeated the prophets of the pagan god, Baal, his victory was short-lived. Queen Jezebel was a follower of Baal and had threatened Elijah’s life, so he fled. We find him wandering in the desert, tired, hungry and praying for death. But God has other things in mind for Elijah, who has remained faithful when all others had turned away from God. Rather than allow him to die, God sends an angel to take care of Elijah. Twice Elijah is fed before continuing his long journey to the mountain of God, Horeb (or Sinai), where he will have an intimate encounter with God.

Today’s Gospel of John deepens the theme of life and hope. It is no longer an angel who comes speaking words of life and hope. It is the Son of God, the One who came down from Heaven, sent by the Father to draw all people to God.

The food He offers for our journey is not mere bread and water. It is “bread from Heaven”, which alone is able to satisfy that deepest of all human hungers, the hunger for life. Jesus is the one offering us life, offering new meaning and purpose, offering new hope. As food for our journey. He offers His very self.

It is through Jesus that our deepest longings and hopes are fulfilled. We hunger and thirst for so much – for love, for acceptance, for forgiveness, for meaning, in a word, we long for life. Jesus said: “I came that they may havelife and have it to the fullest.” Jesus is the only one able to offer us real life – eternal life.

Jesus says that He is truly the “bread of life”, reminding the people that the manna in the desert provided nourishment only for a day, not for eternity. But the bread of Jesus gives life forever.

If we feed on Christ, if we believe in Him and learn from Him, His life will become part of our life. We are called to allow His love to continue to work through us and His love will go out into the world and touch people’s lives, to let the hope Christ offers to shine and allow His peace and forgiveness to be extended to others, to allowHis concern for the poor and the weak, the outcast and despised.

Jesus offers to let us participate in His life now. He invites us to be part of Him, for He wants His flesh to give life to the world now, through us. He seeks to help people on their journey towards God, towards fullness of life, to sustain people, to offer new hope, to bring purpose and confidence to a bruised and often battered people. This is the life Jesus offers and He offers it, not just to us, but through us to the world.

The journey we make and the time we set aside to celebrate the Eucharisteach Sunday is important for the development of our faith. If we are to imitate God as Paul asks us to do in the second reading then we need to become encouraged and challenged by his words and be fed by the bread of life. This gift is freely given, not because we are the holiest of people but because we are trying to be holy in spite of the troubles and struggles we experience along the way.

Elijah was downcast but a word of encouragement and some food renewed his vigour for the journey of faith. The word of God and bread of life don’t give us a false joy and hope or remove the struggles but we are given strength to cope, to hope and to win through. In the words of the psalmist, we are able to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”


Homily # 5

Strengthened by God’s sustenance, Elijah, walked forty days and nights to the mountain of the Lord.  Such is the bounty of God.

We too are beneficiaries of God’s miraculous nourishment.  It is the eucharistic sign of Jesus.  “This is the bread that comes down from Heaven, for you to eat and never die.  I myself and the Strengthened by God’s sustenance, Elijah, even though he felt like dying, living bead….If you eat this bread, you shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

A mighty claim.  God will be our food, our ultimate provision.  God actually want to inhabit our flesh, make us tabernacles.  And think what a powerful profession of faith it is to believe this.  Our “Amen” is a radical assertion of dependence and desire.  “You are our food and drink.  You are our sustenance.  You are what nourishes us. ”

The people around Jesus knew just how radial the matter was” “Do we not know his father and mother?”  “Is it not Jesus, the son of Joseph?”  “How can he claim to have come down from Heaven?”  The appearances confound them.  How can it be?  He is familiar.  How is it possible?  He is commonplace.  How can he be from heaven?  He is flesh and blood like us.

The Eucharist, like the Incarnation, is a scandal to empirical observation and technical reason.  If that is our bottom line, we may as well forget all matters of faith. forget the matters of hope and love as well.  Even the exhortation of Paul–that we be forgiving, compassionate, and imitators of God in our love– is sheer mindlessness if only seeing is believing.

Our contemporary struggle with belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a quarrel over transcendence.  Only the here is real.  Only the now is actual.  Only the observable is knowable.  Only perishables can sustain us.  The immediate feeling.  The experience at hand.  The pain pressing.  the pleasure welcome.  Our problem is not just believing that God could inhabit bread.  It is believing that god could inhabit us.

We have trouble believing anything transcendent about ourselves.  “Can anyone ever say “forever”, anyway?  Is there anything possible left of us after our body decays?”  Is there anything more to us that satisfaction or power and money?” It may be arduous for modern minds to believe the proposition that God could be our food and our drink.  It is just as difficult to believe anything wonderful about ourselves, to hope that there is anything more to sustain us than matter chewed, drunk and digested.

And yet our faith is just that–faith.  Faith that there is more than surface and superficiality.  Faith that the transcendent takes flesh.  If somehow we have become locked in a state of mind in which the “real presence” is impossible to accept as a gift of God, nothing wondrous will be possible for us.  these is no point to the journey, no answer to the quest of our minds, no final satisfaction for the hunger of our hearts.


Homily # 6

1 Kings 19:4-8

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

John 6-41-51

There is a story that comes from Scotland about an elderly woman who was very poor but had great faith in the power of prayer. One summer evening, two young rogues passed her cottage window and heard her praying fervently for bread. Thinking it would be a good joke to “answer her prayer,” they ran off to the village baker and bought two loaves of bread. They returned, climbed up on the woman’s roof and dropped the loaves down the chimney to the fireless grate below.

The next day, the two lads called at the woman’s home and deviously steered the conversation so as to get the woman to tell how God had answered her prayer for bread. At that point, the boys laughed heartily. Thinking that they would make her feel foolish, they explained how they had procured the bread and dropped it down the chimney. The woman’s faith remained unshaken, and she calmly told the two, “I still say God sent the bread, even though he used the devil’s imps to deliver it.”

These days, almost everyone is aware of the slogan “you are what you eat” and has jumped on the bandwagon. Thousands of diets out there compete for the title of “healthiest.” We are warned to forgo “empty calories” and eat only the foods that will build us up and make us immune to the ravages of disease and time.

We still, however, make bad choices. One doctor said confidently to his patient, “I think we can get your weight under control if we can just beat the Noah problem.”

“What do you mean the Noah problem?” asked the woman.

“Whenever you sit down to eat,” scolded the doctor, “you take two of everything.”

Pious Catholics the world over do not like to miss Sunday Mass. But one Sunday in the summer of 1990 a community of Catholic nuns in Paris missed Sunday Mass-something that was unthinkable at the time. What happened? The community of nuns usually had a priest come in every evening at 4:00 pm to celebrate the Eucharist with them. On this particular day the priest who was to go for the Mass was not feeling well, so he asked a Nigerian priest who was visiting with them to help out. The Nigerian priest showed up at the convent at about 3:55 pm and rang the doorbell. Following the prevailing custom at the time, he was dressed in casual and not in clerical outfit. A nun quickly answered the door thinking it was the priest. When she saw an African, she did not give him a chance to speak, but quickly dismissed him: “I’m sorry we cannot help you, we are having Mass now. Come back some other time.” “Thank you, Sister!” said the priest, and he turned back and left. A few minutes later the phones were ringing in the rectory. It was the sisters. They said they were waiting for the priest and wanted to know when he was coming. “He came,” they were told, “but you told him to go and come back another day.”

Why did these nuns miss the blessing of the Sunday Eucharist? No, it was not because they were bad people. It was simply because the priest they got didn’t look like the priest they were expecting to come. The reality before them differed from their expectations and they didn’t recognize the moment of the visitation. Dear friends this is precisely the problem the Galileans in today’s had with Jesus.

Today’s gospel is only indirectly about actual food. Jesus had already identified himself as the “true bread,” but the people resist this idea. They know Jesus and his humble origins. How could the carpenter’s son from Nazareth be what they need? They recognize their “hunger” (that’s good) but they insist that Jesus can’t satisfy it (not so good).

Is that our attitude? Isn’t it precisely when we’re feeling good about ourselves and our feats that we tend to forget our true nutrition—our true strength? Maybe that explains why Jesus had his strongest impact on the poor, the sick, the outcast and the imprisoned. It is when we are weak that the gospel’s “spiritual food” is most attractive.

The powerful and the wealthy may need to realize that they have filled up on the “empty calories” of this world’s goods. If so, that may explain why “the rich,’ as the bible verse tells us, “are sent away empty.”

After all you are what you eat.

Story of nuns from Fr. Munachi web site Light a Candle


Homily # 7

The Gospel Reading recounts how the people criticized Jesus when they heard him say, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”  They began to murmur against him.  “Do we not know his father and mother?  Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”  The Lord answered them saying, “Stop murmuring among yourselves.”  Many of his neighbors in Nazareth and even some of the members of his own family did not consider him to be important nor did they believe in him.  Poorly concealed envy stood in their way so that they could not see the greatness that was his.  They did not care to see the wisdom and goodness of the Jesus they disparagingly called, “the son of the carpenter.”

The criticism that Jesus received from those around him confirms for us what we already know.  We do not have to look too far around us to see the same evil attitude, the same refusal to recognize the good qualities that some people possess.  There are some who have a tendency to disrespect those around them or to talk badly about them.  This is an attitude that we see even in our own family and friends.  Jesus had to live through this way of thinking.  And we also have to live through it or, at least, see it happen.  In this respect the human race has not changed much since Jesus’ time.

It is obvious that Christians have to fight off these bad feelings.  And if they should feel this way they should ask the Lord to be merciful and help them to do away with this character defect, which can also be a sin.   Jesus had to suffer through abuse of this type.  So, it should not come as a surprise when we are also unjustly judged.  People who go through life doing good, as Jesus did, will frequently come up against mocking looks, insults and even offensive language.  But if they follow the Lord, he will give them strength so that none of this will affect or harm them.  We should never try, no matter what happens and much less before the members of our own family, to hide our faith or our life as authentic Christians.  Even less when we are in the company of those who live their faith poorly or who deny they have faith.  Let us remember always that whoever denies Jesus will find that Jesus will deny him before his Father.  When we encounter opposition to our Christian way of life we should not doubt that we have to act firmly, as Jesus expects us to do.

Jesus says, in the Gospel, “I am the living brad that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.”  This Gospel Reading teaches, to whoever is willing to listen with devotion, the need that exists for this world to know Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the need that we have to strengthen ourselves by receiving Holy Communion in a state of grace.  We need the Bread of Life that the Lord offers us.  It will nourish us and give us the strength to overcome Satan and the courage to defend our religion, Christ and his Church.  The Second Vatican Council proclaimed, and rightfully so, that the Eucharistic sacrifice is the font and the pinnacle of all Christian life.  It contains all that is spiritually good in the Church, Christ himself, our paschal meal and our bread of life.

In many churches we have seen a great number of people receive the Body and Blood of the Lord.  And we also see very few people going to confession.  And we ask ourselves, how can this be?  What has happened is that this society has lost its sense of sin.  At the same time, there are many who receive the Lord in the Eucharist without recognizing the greatness of what they are receiving.  Let us think about whether we are prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  Let us show, by our attitude, that we truly believe that Jesus Christ is, “the living bread that has come down from heaven.”

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Word Alive

Leap of faith

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

August 7, 2009, 7:50pm

Once a young man went out hiking in the mountains. While walking on a precipice, he slipped and rolled down. It meant sure death, but fortunately his hand happened to grab the branch of a tree which stopped his fall.

* * *

Hanging precariously with the branch about to give way, he prayed desperately,

“Lord, if you are up there, save me!”

A booming voice answered, “Yes, this is God.” “Dear God, help me,” cried the man.

* * *

“Yes, I’ll help you,” replied the Lord. “But first, do you trust Me?” “Of course, Lord, I trust You,” the man replied.

“Then let go of your hold!” ordered God. “I’m begging God to save me and He’s telling me to ‘let go.’

What a nonsense!” muttered the perplexed young man to himself.

* * *

He looked up again and shouted, “If there is any other God up there…help!”

Poor guy! He could not accept God’s command so he switched loyalty. In local parlance, “nag-balimbing!”

* * *

There are times when God tells us to “let go,” to trust Him even when His will sounds absurd.

In the gospel of this 19th Sunday, Jesus teaches the people about something that’s difficult to believe and sounds absurd.

* * *

He says, “I’m the bread that came down from heaven… the bread that I give is My flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:51).

* * *

The cynical people grumbled, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (Jn 6:5). “Cannibalism,” one might say today. The Church calls it “transubstantiation.”

Jesus said this because we have a soul, a spiritual life which needs spiritual nourishment.

* * *

How can Jesus give His body and blood as our food and drink? Humanly speaking, we don’t know. But if He could use His power to feed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread, so He could use His power to change bread into His body to feed thousands spiritually.

* * *

Or, when Christ walked on the water, He showed that He had power over His own body, a power that He would use in making His body truly present under the appearance of bread.

* * *

The essential condition is faith (trust) in Him. We are asked to believe even though we cannot understand how it all can happen. God’s word goes beyond the mystery of the Eucharist. In practical
life, we’re also asked sometimes to accept God’s will even though it’s hard and bitter to take.

* * *

It can be the untimely death of a son or daughter, an incurable sickness, an undeserved suffering, say, of children from estranged or separated parents; you may complain: “Why do I experience all these trials? It’s unfair when I’ve been trying to be good.”

* * *

When such situations come our way, can we hold on? Can we make a “leap of faith” and still believe there’s a good and loving God?

Let’s pray that God strengthens us especially in times when it’s difficult to understand His will.

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Moments
Going beyond

By Fr. Jerry Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:24:00 08/09/2009
I HAVE a friend who was successful in the funeral business. Then he went into the bottled water business which eventually went bankrupt. Why? The name of his mortuary was “Joe’s Funeral Home.” He could not go beyond his original business, so he named his bottled water “Joe’s Funeral Water.”

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6, 41-51), Jesus challenges the Jews not to stick to earthly bread, but to go beyond to the living bread come down from heaven. Earthly bread is for now. Living bread is for always. We must see beyond and go beyond that which meets the eye. We must not lose sight of what lies ahead and beyond us.

* * *

President Cory Aquino has gone to the great beyond. Her whole life was one big going beyond … beyond a “simple housewife,” to become a reluctant leader of our nation; beyond a great president, to “citizen Cory” once more, ever gracious, humble and personable. She went out of her way for the Filipino people so that when it was time for her to go, the Filipino people went out of their way to tell her how much she was loved and how she will be terribly missed, especially now.

* * *

It pays to be good. The day-long funeral procession for president Cory last August 5 showed that the people know, and they cannot be fooled. The crowd that sent off president Cory on the streets, not to mention those who joined through radio and television worldwide, did the great outpouring of love and respect spontaneously and gratefully. There were no operators that day, only cooperators. There were no manipulators, only mani vendors and countless unknown “little ones” on the side who came out to tell President Cory “Thank you and goodbye.”

* * *

The events of these past few days have shown us that the Cory magic is still there. No one has brought unity to our country in life and in death more than president Cory. But magic is fleeting, so we must go beyond the Cory magic toward the Cory spirit, which is sacrifice, simplicity and truthfulness. But the spirit too is fragile and can be all too soon forgotten, so we must go beyond and focus on the Cory challenge, and that is to make our nation truly free from poverty and truly free from any form of tyranny, corruption, and moral decay.

* * *

I shed a tear watching the many nameless, innocent, simple people outside the Manila Cathedral during president Cory’s funeral Mass. They were like orphans, waiting and wanting a mother. But I shed more tears watching the personalities and celebrities inside the Cathedral – many of whom are beneficiaries of Cory’s sacrifice – who were loudly present while the Cory magic lasted, but who no longer have the Cory spirit in their hearts, and have forgotten all too soon the Cory challenge. Many of them were there for the “bread,” not for the bread of life and not for Cory’s fight.

* * *

On the eve of the president Cory’s burial, I concelebrated in the Mass officiated by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. When it was time for me to give my blessing to president Cory, I began with the L (“Laban” ) sign, then with the V (victory) sign, and finally with all five fingers, ending with two hands clasped together after giving the blessing, to symbolize and honor the unifying effect president Cory has had on all of us of varied affiliations and factions as a nation.

* * *

Going to that Mass, I had to walk through the rain and flooded streets in my favorite pair of shoes whose soles were glued just a week ago. So what if they fell apart the next day? So what if I had to nurse a cold shortly after? These were little sacrifices compared to the many sacrifices President Cory went through before, during, and after her presidency. Indeed, what have you and I, especially our present leaders, sacrificed for our country?

* * *

It is interesting to note that all throughout the wake, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima never left president Cory’s side. Note too, that she died on a first Saturday, the day of Our Lady, and she was buried on a Wednesday, the day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Need we say more about the tremendous power and presence of Mama Mary in the life of President Cory? That we walked with a national hero is definite. That we walked with a modern-day saint is possible.

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to learn now and learn well President Cory’s example of going beyond and walking the “extra mile.” Amen.

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Word Alive

THIS BREAD GIVES ETERNAL LIFE

August 11, 2012, 10:40am

A TRUE story is told about an American lady named Brigitte Guerney. In 1985 while walking on a pedestrian lane in New York City, a construction crane fell down pinning her underneath. For six agonizing hours, paramedics frantically struggled to keep her alive until she could be removed from under the heavy crane.

During the ordeal, Brigitte was  given blood transfusions, fluids, and painkillers. But she asked for one specific thing and that was to receive Holy Communion. She was then taken to a hospital where doctors operated on her for another five hours and she eventually survived.

* * *

The crane accident was only one of the most recent of a series of mishaps Brigitte had experienced. Her son, who was barely two years old, drowned accidentally. Her husband died of cancer. Her father was killed in an automobile accident. Brigitte had an operation to remove a cancer and she had suffered multiple injuries in a cable car crash in Switzerland in 1982.

One would say this woman was born unlucky. Far from it. Because of her indomitable faith, especially in the Eucharist, she survived all those ordeals.

* * *

In this 19th Sunday gospel, Jesus claims that He Himself is the bread of life come down from heaven. “If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. The bread that I will give him is My flesh, which I give so that the world may live.” (Jn 6:52).

Jesus reveals that life in this world isn’t the end of things.  There’s another life to come.  And that life will never end.  But when Jesus said to the Jews that the bread He would give was His flesh, many of them shook their heads and even turned their backs on Him.

* * *

Today, the “bread” our Lord is talking about is His Body and Blood offered in the Holy Eucharist which nourish and strengthen us in our journey through life. Like Brigitte Guerney in the above story, we sometimes encounter accidents, endure disappointments, or suffer tragedies. By ourselves, we could never survive. We need a higher power and spiritual energy.

* * *

Some of you may have seen the movie “Cocoon.” It’s a story of elderly people who experienced a return to their youth when they bathed in a swimming pool secretly used by aliens from another planet. Their exciting experience prompted them to accept an invitation from the aliens to go back with them to their planet.  The senior citizens were told that once they reached the alien planet, they would live forever.

* * *

The story has a striking similarity to the gospel message today except that it’s Jesus who tells us and  not aliens from another planet. The eternal life Jesus teaches is not life in the future but begins already on earth as shown in the staying power of Guerney derived from receiving the Eucharist.

There are people who are afraid of death. That should never happen if they heed the words of Jesus: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6:55).

* * *

ACTION: Let’s appreciate the value of Jesus’  gift of His Body and Blood by receiving it worthily in Holy Communion.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/369166/this-bread-gives-eternal-life

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Moments

 Jesus’ dream

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:31 pm | Saturday, August 11th, 2012

The story is told about a teacher who asked her students what their dreams were. Miguel said he wanted to become a doctor. Rose said she wanted to become an accountant. Claro said he wanted to become a lawyer. And Nenita said she simply wanted to have many children. When the teacher asked Isko what his dream was, his answer was: “Ma’am, I just want to help Nenita in her dream.”

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6, 41-51), we hear how the Jews murmured about Jesus, and how they misunderstood and opposed His vision, His dream for the Kingdom of God.  They understood and supported Jesus when it was all about bread for their stomachs, but not so when it was all about bread from heaven above for their souls.

* * *

I can imagine the frustration of Jesus pointing at the “big picture” and all the crowd of people could see was their noses in front of them. Here He was showing them a new vision, a new dream that would be good for them, and they didn’t believe Him or simply didn’t care. Such was the fate of prophets then, and even now in that lonely road toward the truth. As someone once said, it is easier for a businessman to get the people’s money from their pockets than for a prophet to put new ideas in people’s heads.

* * *

Take note that Jesus’ popularity rating was at its peak after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. But soon after, when He started talking about Himself as the bread of life to be eaten for eternal life, many of the people and even His followers abandoned Him. I can imagine the panic of His Cabinet members and His handlers, urging Him to stop that kind of talk! But Jesus remained steadfast in His words and in His dream. For Jesus, truth does not need to be handled. Truth needs only to be told.

* * *

Speaking of handlers, whoever advised President Aquino to bring along his party’s “senatoriables” in his distribution of relief goods to flood victims last week did him more harm than good. There is a proper time for everything, and that was not the proper time, out of respect for the people’s poverty and misery. In the end, of course, who are we to say what they should or should not do? That is their call, but still we say, that was uncalled-for.

* * *

At the height of the continuously heavy rains last week, I was saying to myself, If only the rains were bread from heaven falling generously on everyone, then all will be very happy! But then I caught myself saying, Will everyone get his/her fair share, what with hoarders and greedy businessmen all over the place!? Greed is the single biggest obstacle to our country’s peace and progress.

* * *

So heartwarming to hear of our prisoners in Muntinlupa crossing over gang lines and deciding to give up a meal for the flood victims, or a lady giving up her despedida de soltera party and donating the money for relief goods instead. So many unknown and unsung heroes during calamities. God knows who you are. May God bless and reward your good and generous hearts. Be comforted with the thought that even if you are incognito and unrecognized, you are pleasing to God’s eyes, and you are a part of Jesus’ dream. Thank you for being Eucharists—God’s real presence in our midst, especially to those in dire need.

* * *

Speaking of bread, I can’t help but ask: What on earth did the proponents of the Reproductive Health bill eat? Ano ba ang nakain nila? Why this blatant and even arrogant push for its approval, and with such haste? I believe all of us want to do what is good for our people. We may differ in our methods and means. I am aware, though, that we can differ in our motives. In the end, may we all listen to what God has to say about this matter.  Let us not leave Him out of it. He has a say in all these!

* * *

Amidst all the issues, calamities, and uncertainties in these times, let us continue to work for peace and make Jesus’ dream of making the fatherhood of God over us all come true. In all our pursuits, let us learn to offer, and surrender. “Peace is yours when you have laid all things at His feet. When you have placed all things in His hands, when you have entrusted all things to His keeping, when you have released all things into His care, when you trust Him no matter what, then the peace that surpasses all understanding will rule your heart.” Amen!

* * *

The newly elected superior general of our congregation, the Society of the Divine Word, visited us yesterday at Christ the King Seminary. This humble, unassuming, yet brilliant 55-year-old from Spelle, Germany, who has worked in the Philippine SVD Southern Province for the past 26 years, especially in line with the poor and marginalized, will lead us in helping make Jesus’ dream come true. Fr. Heinz Kulueke, SVD, will be like a ukelele that will accompany the 6,000-strong Divine Word missionaries all over the world to make wonderful music for the Lord! One with you, Father Heinz!

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to be a part of Your dream, and to never obstruct or depart from it. Amen.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/34571/jesus-dream

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PAGKAGUTOM: Reflection for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B – August 12, 2012

Saksi tayo sa mga nangyari nitong nakaraang mga araw. Kung paanong tila naulit na naman ang bangungot ni Ondoy. Wala namang bagyo ngunit ang hanging habagat ay nagdala ng ilang araw na pag-ulan at kasama nito ay ang nakapipinsalang baha! Sinasabing sa isang banda ay mas nahigitan nito ang bagsik ni Ondoy sapagkat mas matagal ang perwisyong idinulot nito sa mas maraming tao! Ang resulta mas maraming kumakalam na sikmura, mas maraming taong gutom at walang makain. “Pagkain” ang sigaw ng ating mga kababayan sa maraming relocation center. Ang iba ay mas pinili pang manlimos sa kalsada para lamang may pantawid gutom sa kanilang pamilya. Kung babasahin mo ang mga mukha ng marami nating kababayang lagi na lamang nasasalanta ng ganitong trahedya ay parang sinasabi nilang: “Tama na! Sobra na! Pagod na kami!” Ngunit ito’y isang uri lamang ng pagkagutom. May pagkagutom na hindi inaangal ng sikmura. May pagkagutom na hindi pisikal. May kuwento ng isang batang lumapit sa kanyang tatay na abalang-abala sa trabaho. “Tatay laro tayo!” Sabi ng bata sa kanyang tatay na abala sa trabaho. “Hindi muna ngayon anak marami akong ginagawa.” “Anung ginagawa mo?” “Nagtratrabaho.” “E bakit ka nagtratrabaho?” Pakulit na tanong ng anak. “Para yumaman tayo.” “E bakit gusto mong yumaman tayo?” Tanong uli ng anak. “Para marami tayong pera.” Sagot ng tatay na medyo nakukulitan na. “E bakit gusto nyong magkapera?” Nagtaas na ng boses ang tatay: “Para may makain tayo!” Tanong uli ang anak: “E bakit tayo dapat kumain?” Sumigaw na ang tatay: “Para di tayo magutom!” Tumahimik sandali ang bata at pagkatapos ay sinabi: “Tatay… hindi po ako nagugutom! Laro tayo!” Bagamat hindi gutom ang bata sa pagkain, may pagkagutom pa rin siyang nadarama! Ang pagkagutom ay hindi lang pisikal. May pagkagutom ding espirituwal tulad ng pagkagutom sa katotohanan at justisya, pagkagutom sa kapayapaan, pagkagutom sa pagmamahal… Ngunit ang higit sa lahat ng pagkagutom ay ang “pagkagutom sa Diyos.” Batid ni Hesus ang pagkagutom na ito kaya’t inialok niya ang kanyang sarili upang maging pagkaing nagbibigay buhay! “Ako ang pagkaing nagbibigay-buhay na bumaba mula sa langit. Mabubuhay magpakailanman ang sinumang kumain nito. At ang pagkaing ibibigay ko sa ikabubuhay ng sanlibutan ay ang aking laman.” Anung ibig pakahulugan ni Jesus na ang tatatanggap ng pagkaing ito ay “mabubuhay magpakailanman?” Hiindi ito nangangahulugang “walang pagkamatay!” Ang mabuhay magpakailanman ay nangangahulagan ng pakikibahagi sa “buhay ng Diyos!” Isang buhay na sa kabila ng kalungkutan ay may kasiyahan, sa kabila ng pagkabigo ay may pag-asa, sa kabila ng pagkadapa ay may pagbangon! Marahil ito ang kinakailangan ng ating maraming kababayan ngayon. Ito ang kailangan nating mga Pilipinong lagi na lamang ginugupo ng kahirapan at trahedya. Kailangan natin ang “buhay-Diyos!” Sa ating paglalakbay sa buhay na kung saan ay mas marami ang hirap sa ginhawa, ay tanging ang Diyos lamang ang maari nating sandalan at maging sandigan. Si Jesus ang Tinapay ng Buhay na nagbibigay sa atin ng pag-asa! Tanggapin natin ang kanyang paanyaya. Makibahagi tayo sa alok niyang buhay ng sa gayon tayo naman ang magbibigay din nito sa iba. Ang Eukaristiya rin ay komunyon o pakikiisa. Ito ay pakikiisa sa ating kapwa na dumaranas ng paghihirap. Damayan natin ang kanilang pangangailan. Ibahagi natin kung ano ang meron tayo at huwag tayong magdalawang isip sa pagtulong sa kanila. Walang taong masyadong mahirap para hindi magkaloob ng tulong ng iba at wala ring taong masyadong mayaman para hindi mangailangan ng tulong ng iba. Ito ang ibig sabihin na maging buhay kang “Eukaristiya” ka sa kapwa mo. Subukan mong magbigay at mararanasan mo ang tunay na kahulugan ng kaligayahan!

http://www.kiliti-ng-diyos.blogspot.com/2012/08/pagkagutom-reflection-for-19th-sunday.html

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See Today’s Readings:  Cycle B

Back to: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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