Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 19, 2018
The hectic pace of modern life often makes mealtimes a hurried event—lunch at one’s desk or fast food eaten on the run, meals worked around the soccer games, with one or more family members absent. Only at big family celebrations like Thanksgiving, anniversaries, or perhaps a summertime picnic, does our meal-sharing bring us together to nourish our spirits and strengthen our relationships.
Today we continue our five-week look at the sixth chapter of John, where Jesus is portrayed as the “Bread of Life.” In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ words, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood,” parallels “This is my body….this is my blood,” found in the other three Gospels to mark the Last Supper institution of the Eucharist.
Recalling what happens when we share a special meal together in various settings outside of Mass can help us understand the Eucharist. In any of our special meals, we begin with a time of gathering. We catch up on news and tell stories. We share the meal and then take our leave, promising to keep in touch. At Mass we do the same: gather, tell stories of faith, share a sacred meal, and are commissioned to go forth.
As we continue doing what Christians have done for 2,000 years in memory of Jesus, let us resolve to grow in our appreciation of this great mystery of faith.