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Scripture Reflections - Aug. 5
Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time


READINGS
Exodus 16:2-4; 12-15
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35


 

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

From the very beginning of our human journey, there is one need that takes center stage – food.

Adam and Eve’s first quarrel was about an apple! Most decisions that determined where migrants would settle had to do with an adequate food supply.

In our first reading, we hear about the Israelites fleeing from Pharaoh’s army into the desert. Soon they complained they had no food. God heard their cries and rained down a food from heaven they called “manna” (what is this?).

When their water supply ran out, God provided more than enough gushing from a rock. It seemed that the Israelites were always complaining about something. They had little trust in the God who saved them from grinding slavery in Egypt.

In the Gospel, we find Jesus showing great compassion on the hungry crowds that followed him. They hungered for his words, but they also felt real physical hunger pangs.

In his role as Shepherd, Jesus multiplied a few loaves and some fish from the basket of a young boy into a banquet!

The next day, the same crowds found Jesus again. Jesus sadly observed to them: “Very truly, I tell you, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”

Jesus then invites the people to a complete transformation of attitude toward food, and promises them that, through his death on the cross, he will shift their focus from physical food, to his own spiritual food – himself! He will become their food by a miracle that will happen every time his priests utter the sacred words over plain bread and wine, “This is my Body…this is my Blood.”

Through faith, we are to feed on this “Eucharist” until we ourselves become a eucharistic community, as our church recently told us, “Feeding on the eucharist, Christians nourish their soul and become the soul which sustains the world.”

What an amazing gift and mission!

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