Sunday Reflections

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) John 6: 41-51

August 12, 2018

“I am the bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever”.

Father James Gilhooley, whom I quote today, shares the story another priest, Fr. Henry Fehren once told. It is set in Africa. A great chief was planning a huge banquet. He invited each one he could find in his records. This was supposed to be the party of the year. All the important and not too important people should be there. The invitation was very clear. The chief would provide meats, salads, and abundant desserts. But each guest had to bring his own bottle of wine. Each bottle would be poured into a huge vat and so there would be plenty for everybody.

One creative couple decided to be mean; they would bring a bottle of colored water. No one would know they were cheating. The great day arrived. All the guests dressed up their best. They got together at the garden and poured their wine into a big vat. The time came for the first toast, to the chief´s good luck. The fine crystal cups were filled. Everyone raised a glass to drink deeply. What they tasted was not good at all. They sipped again, but they were like the first time. Each couple felt frustrated. They thought their bottle of colored water would be lost in the gigantic vat. Of course, everyone had brought a bottle of water. They got back exactly what they had brought, a glass of plain water.

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Jn 6: 24-35 - Aug 05, 2018

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”.

Luke the Evangelist tells us the beginning of our history of salvation through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ: the announcement of Jesus´ birth, his nativity, and his infancy narrative, in chapters one and two. Saint John in his Gospel does not bring up the private life of Jesus before his introduction by John the Baptist to his disciples. There should not be any wonder that now in chapter six John the Evangelist tells us the purpose of Jesus´ coming to be always with us, as the bread of life, in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

During five Sundays we will be reading the entire sixth chapter from Saint John. John does not relate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, but he does give us a background miracle of the bread and the sermon of the living bread, a teaching for us to appreciate the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist.

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Mk 6: 30-34 Jul 22, 2018

“Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd”.

Once I was visiting for the first time a city. I wanted to visit my friend priests, but I did not know the way to get to their place. Nobody seemed to be available to give me directions, except this man who was fixing his car in front of his house. So I asked him how to get to Saint Francis Church. Even though he was very busy, he stopped his work immediately and walked me right to the entrance of the church.

Each one who has being working hard deserves a break, a time of vacation to relax and renovate new strengths. Jesus is very human and understanding; he has sent his twelve apostles two by two to preach repentance. When they return from their mission, Jesus and his apostles must have been exhausted after that experience. Even Jesus used to take a few days off, but not only to vacation, but to be in quiet prayer.

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Jn 6: 1-15 - Jul 29, 2018

“Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted”.

Walking on the street the other day, I saw a hungry homeless and blind man who was shouting, “Please God, give me something to eat.” A young girl, who had heard him, passed by and put a loaf of bread on his hand. The man said, “Thank you God.” When John in his Gospel tells us that there were 5,000 men coming to Jesus, he does not mean that only men were listening to Jesus´ teaching that day; we know women and their children were also there, so there should be over 15,000 people together that day. The exhausted people needed not only spiritual food, and rest, but also something to eat. A boy is willing to share his own lunch with others: five barley loaves and two fish. But like in the case of the generous girl, it is both Jesus and the youngster who give the people bread and fish to eat.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Mark 6: 7-13

July 15, 2018

“Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits”.

Before getting something done, no matter how important or simple the task might be, a person designs a plan and makes sure his or her job is going to be accomplished in the best way possible. Let´s say, for example, a teacher or a student prepares the lesson, an attorney investigates his client´s case, a coach arranges the game´s strategies. When a president goes to another country to meet his o her colleague, he sends his secretary of state and ambassador to set up ahead of time the business agenda to be discussed. But that person also appoints a follow up committee to continue the task.

Jesus sent his twelve apostles on journey to prepare his way and to continue announcing his Good News: “Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick, no food, no sack, no money in their belts (…) They went off and preached repentance. The twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”

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