Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 8, 2021
Meals are more than a stop to refuel our bodies. They can be a real art--a time to deepen relationships. We prepare the food carefully, set the table, cultivate good manners and good conversation. Behind the simple act of eating is a way to renew the human relationships which bring us to the table in the first place.
Today we continue our five-week look at the sixth chapter of John, where Jesus is portrayed as the “Bread of Life.” In that chapter people ask him for a sign, like the manna in the desert of Moses’ time. Jesus’ reply? He himself is the “bread of life.”
In today’s Gospel the people “murmur” and accuse Jesus of arrogance or worse. Jesus replies that he has come to give them his “flesh for the life of the world.” He offers them the very life of God--a life that will enable them to live forever.
Jesus’ words shock his hearers. To us, the words are familiar. We believe that in the Eucharist we celebrate each Sunday is the crucified and risen Jesus Christ himself, drawing us to himself. And yet how easy it is to take all this for granted, to make Sunday Mass just something else we do. Let’s allow this summer meditation on the Bread of Life to renew our faith and our enthusiastic response to Christ.