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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2021

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus in today’s Gospel from St. John says the bread of God that comes down from heaven “gives life to the world” and “whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”  He continues and says, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” 

After the multiplication of the loaves, the crowd hails Jesus.  They identify him as a wonder worker and want to make him their king.  Notice how the crowd seems to be only interested in their material needs.  They could not see further to “the food that endures to eternal life.”  The people encounter the transcendent God in the person of Jesus, the Word made flesh.  The people continue to struggle to understand as Jesus tells them, “I am the bread of life.” 

The aim of the Gospel story is to cultivate the gift of faith or believing in those who hear it.  Faith is awakened by the words, but it does not move forward until the person hearing the words accepts them.  The Gospel challenges its readers to accept the extraordinary.  It is important for those of us who heard these words to take care to draw near to the Lord, listen to His teachings, and assimilate the wisdom He offered to us.  The full participation in the eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus follows on our ability to absorb Jesus’ teachings.  We are then sent out to imitate Jesus knowing that He gave is life for all people. 

Jesus further instructs the crowd and you and me, “Do not work for food that perishes / but for the food that endures for eternal life.”  How does the Eucharist nourish and strengthen you on the path of discipleship? 

I am grateful to all who participated in the Lourdes Summer Celebration.  Your support for our school is appreciated.  Please pray for the faculty, students, and staff as they prepare to return to class in just a couple of weeks. 

Have a blessed week!  Fr. Len

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