Sunday, August 02, 2015

Sunday word, 02 Aug 15

Eighteenth Sunday of the Year B (02 Aug 2015)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
omeone wondered why we switched from Mark’s gospel to John’s gospel beginning last week. Mark’s gospel is the shortest. To spread Mark’s gospel over a church year so its conclusion is heard at the end of the church year we insert a chapter of John’s gospel; we spread it over five summer weeks. Today’s gospel let us hear Jesus call himself the bread of life.

He had fed crowds with five loaves and a couple fish. They saw him as the Prophet and sought to make him king.1 They expected God’s Prophet to wield earthly power. So Jesus left them; they sought and found Jesus. He knew why and told them: because they ate not because of the heavenly signs Jesus had done for the sick among them or the way Jesus fed them. They were confused: they thought Jesus had access to the bread of God their ancestors once enjoyed; they did not yet see him as the bread of God, the source of God’s life.

Thinking Jesus had access to the bread of life, the bread of God, they asked him for it: Sir, give us this bread always. With the whole church we recognize Jesus as the bread of life Jesus said he is. We enjoy the nourishment he offers us in the sacrament of the eucharist. It is Jesus’ pledge of life eternal for us.2

Those who sought Jesus and listened to him asked: give us this bread always. Their request echoes when we pray, Give us this day our daily bread. Jesus is our living bread; he nourishes our inmost selves. Nourishing us with himself includes Jesus giving us his Spirit.

Sharing Jesus’ Spirit can easily lead us to think of outstanding things—miracles, speaking in tongues, mystic experiences. Humane living is equally of Holy Spirit. Spirit-fruits, St. Paul reminded, are not alien, loud nor imposing: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.3

As we live shaped more by Jesus’ Spirit we live the pattern of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Celebrating the eucharist helps us live the pattern of Jesus’ life. It nourishes our baptisms, which renewed our inmost selves; when we put on the new self, created in God’s way so we may live daily in integrity and holiness of truth, and all the fruits of Jesus’ Holy Spirit. To make the pattern of Jesus’ life our pattern of living is what our world needs.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week
  • Rest in our triune God, who creates each of us with a purpose.
  • Ask the crowds who went looking for Jesus to present you to him.
  • Chat with him: praise him for dying and rising for you; thank him for giving you himself in his sacrament of the eucharist.
  • Ask him for grace to hunger for him and for courage to replicate his pattern of living.
  • Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Praying it does express our needs to our God. Praying Jesus’ prayer also helps us grow to make Jesus’ way of living our way of living.

Link to this homily’s Spiritual Exercise

  1. Conclusion of last Sunday’s gospel.
  2. Roman Missal, Preface VI for Sundays of the Year.
  3. Galatians 5.22-23.

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