Gospel Reflection Aug 8 – Fr. Lynch
Sunday, August 8
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
John 6: 41-51
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
“I am the bread that came down from heaven, ”
and they said,
“Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
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.”
We are now celebrating the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, and while it is called Ordinary Time, there are many elements that are not so ordinary and yet at the same time, there are ordinary things that never seem to change. Continuing in the Gospel of John narrative in Chapter 6, specifically the “Bread of Life” narrative we are challenged in many ways similarly to the challenges of God’s chosen people encountered in both the Old and New Testaments.
In the second (18th week of Ordinary Time) and third (19th Week of Ordinary Time) weeks of the “Bread of Life” discourse we hear specifically in the Old Testament readings and the Gospel accounts of people’s “grumblings” (Ex 6:2) and “murmurings” (Jn 6:41).
Why is this important? It is important because we realize in our own self-reflections how we are called to respond, aided by God’s grace, to accept God’s generous and loving plans for us all. In and of itself it sounds good and pretty, but often we see how even God’s Chosen do not always accept God’s plan but reject, lose faith, and fall back into the deprecating misery of thinking they know better than God. It is a lack of trusting God. This is dangerous for a variety of reasons, namely the flawed thinking that we know better than God or that our plan is better. God always has and always will provide for his people. Proof beyond any reasonable doubt is manifest in the Glory of God the Father sending his only Son Jesus to redeem us.
In the greatest gift God could ever bestow upon us, His prized creation, Jesus offers himself up for us in Word and Sacrifice. He gifts himself for all time and eternity, completely, totally, and without any reservation. Jesus’ example of abandonment of self for the greater good is something we can all grow and learn from and apply in our own personal faith journey daily during these trying times.
As we continue to navigate through the Covid Pandemic regardless of opinion, science, and preference may we never take for granted the true and total gift of Jesus in the Eucharist, who sustains and continually nourishes us as “The Bread of Life,” food for our journey. St. Brigid of Kildare, pray for us!
-Fr. Tim Lynch