April 21, 2018

April 21

April 21, 2018:  Saturday, 3rd week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen


For the gospel
Pope Francis

To Cuban youth:  Never fear to heed God’s call.  Fall in love with Jesus, and keep working for to advance the Cuban Church.  God’s call presents itself in everyday situations.  Be generous and open your hearts to the Lord!
You are not alone.  We build only out of our concrete community, where we carry out our vocation.  Love your country.  Look ahead.  Love Jesus.  Have courage; look to Mary.  May she watch over you.
At Rome's English Seminary:  A deep relationship with the Lord must be your first priority, but it's harder for you than it was for me because of today’s "culture of the temporary."  Nurture your interior life; learn to close your door from within, to strengthen your service to God and the Church.  We serve not out of mere sentiment but obedience, and in cooperation with others.  Since loving our neighbor isn't always easy, we need to be grounded in God who loves and sustains us.  This inner strength characterized the 44 16th-century English College martyrs.
Fear, including of ourselves, is one of our major obstacles but can be overcome with love, prayer, and humor.  When we overcome fear, we can help others to.  Nurture good, wholesome relationships that will sustain you in your ministry.  Friends help us on the journey to what's true, noble and good.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  A will lacking humility:  [Semi-]pelagians may speak of God’s grace but ultimately trust in their own powers and feel superior because they observe certain rules or adhere to a particular Catholic style [EG 94].  They think all things are possible by the will, as if it were something all-powerful to which grace is then added.  But not everyone can do everything [Bonaventure, De sex alis Seraphim] and in this life grace doesn't completely heal human weakness [ST I-II q109 a9 ad1].  God commands us to do what we can, ask for the rest [Augustine, De natura et gratia], and humbly pray, “Grant what you command; command what you will” [Augustine, Confessions X].
If we don't acknowledge our limitations, we prevent grace from working more effectively in us and don't leave room for the potential good that's part of genuine growth [EG 44].  Grace builds on nature; it doesn't make us superhuman at once.  Such thinking would show too much confidence in our own abilities, too little in grace.  Unless we acknowledge our limitations, we won't see what the Lord demands of us once his gift attracts and empowers us.  Grace acts in history, taking hold and transforming progressively [Trent re justification].  If we reject this, we can block grace, even if our words extol it.
God told Abraham, “Walk before me, and be blameless.”  To be blameless, we must live humbly in his presence, in union with him, cloaked in glory, recognizing his love.  Once we do, loneliness will disappear, and we'll know the Lord's will and let him mold us.  We dwell in God, who enables us to dwell in his light and love.  We ask to dwell in his house all our days. “One day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”  In him is our holiness. [49-51]
Read
  • Acts 9:31-42  The Church was at peace, being built up, walking in the fear of the Lord, consoled by the Spirit, and growing in numbers.  Peter, finding paralytic Aeneas in Lydda:  “Jesus Christ heals you.”  All who saw turned to the Lord.  When disciple Tabitha died, the disciples sent for Peter who prayed, and she rose.  Many came to believe in the Lord.
  • Ps 116:12-17  "How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?"  I'll call on the Lord's name.  Precious in the Lord's eyes is the death of his faithful.  You have loosed my bonds; I'll offer you sacrifice of thanksgiving.
  • Jn 6:60-69  Disciples / Jesus:  “Who can accept this hard saying?” / “The Spirit, not the flesh, gives life.  No one comes to me unless my Father grants it.”  Many returned and no longer walked with him.  Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Peter:  “To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We're convinced you're God's Holy One.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  "The hard saying":  Jesus says challenging things, such as his teachings on divorce and forgiveness, but today's gospel refers to "Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life,” so shocking to his 1st-century Jewish audience that many abandoned him.  But the words say Jesus will remain with and in his followers.  The words reinforce the sanctity of our life and our belief in our resurrection.  The Eucharist is “medicine of immortality,” the seed of our eternal life.  Do I allow myself to be drawn into the realism and promise of these words?  Is Communion a moment of intimate communion with the One who remains with me?  Do I hope in the resurrection of my body along with Jesus'?
Pray for faith.  Learn and live God's Word, for "faith comes through hearing, and hearing by God's word."  Be willing to suffer for your faith; your faith will deepen.  The world needs people of faith!
  • DailyScripture.net:  "You have the words of everlasting life":  Many were attracted to Jesus because he offered them a sign of God's mercy and favor through his healings, deliverances, and miracles.  But many stumbled when he made claims only God can make, such as being the bread of heaven.  God helps us grow in faith and trust in his word, even his hard sayings.  Faith is a response to God's revelation of himself, based on the truth and reliability of God's word.  The Spirit enlightens us to understand the truth and wisdom from God.  Faith is the key to understanding and experiencing God's action and work in our lives. We can know God personally and grow in recognizing him as we listen to and obey him....
Dress legend
    St. Anselm
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Church was at peace,... (1st reading)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  ...'walking' in the fear of the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie pin:  I will 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Tabitha opened her eyes (1st reading); "precious in the Lord's eyes..." (psalm)
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for "...is the death of his faithful" (psalm), white for Easter
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Peter gave Tabitha his hand (1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Tie with bread and other food:  feeding of the 5,000 (Jn 6:1-15, pre-gospel), Jesus as Bread of Life (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Holy Spirit consoled the early Church (1st reading); the Spirit gives life (gospel)

April 20, 2018

April 20

April 20, 2018:  Friday, 3rd week, Easter

Find 15 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

For Psalm 117
Pope Francis
Homily:  Bread is essential for living.  Jesus offers himself to us as Bread of Life.  The Eucharist is a communion of love that calls each of us to be nourished by the Lord and give ourselves to others. 
As Don Tonino Bello recalled, works of charity aren't enough.  If charity of the works is lacking, every pastoral commitment is only a merry-go-round.  Don Tonino lived for others as a Bishop-Servant who learned to be eaten by the people.  He dreamed of a Church hungry for Jesus and intolerant of worldliness, one that sees Christ in misery, suffering, and loneliness.  Do you like to be served by the Lord, or do you get up and serve like the Lord?  Do you give back in life what you receive at Mass?

The Bread of Life is the Bread of Peace and conviviality; conflict and war are rooted in not knowing the other.  Love every face; build peace.  The Word of Jesus is to live, not sit and talk.  Don Tonino urged people to move from words to deeds, encouraging those without courage to change.  Go forth with courage to leave your comfort zone and take risks.  Be invested for Jesus, spent for others.  Be couriers of hope, joyful distributors of the Easter alleluia.  Be humble: not resigned, docile to God, empty of self.  Then God's Word frees you to advance as a witness of Jesus.
In Alessano:  Fr. Tonino knew that understanding the poor was true wealth.  He drew near to them, dispossessing himself.  He promoted world peace by acting locally, taking care of those in need and promoting justice.  For him, peace begins at home and work, upholding workers' dignity over profit.  Allergic to honors, he like Jesus stripped himself of signs of power to make way for the power of the sign.  He said the apron is the only priestly garb in the gospel; find strength to put it on.  Be swayed by his ardor and hear his invitation to live the Gospel without diminishing any of it.
To Benedictines:  Your motto, ‘Prayer and work and study,’ encapsulates your spirituality.  Prayer and meditation on God's Word generate zeal and lead us to share God’s wisdom with others through our daily work.  St. Benedict discerned the essentials of spiritual life, placing the Lord at the center.  Practice the same discernment to recognize what's from the Spirit and what's from the devil.  Your convents and monasteries are oases where people can discover the beauty of silence and the harmony of God’s creation.  Continue your ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and your hospitality.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  Contemporary Pelagianism:  Gnosticism gave way to another heresy, likewise present in our day.  Many came to realize it's not knowledge that betters us but how we live.  But this subtly led back to the old error of the gnostics, which was simply transformed rather than eliminated.

The power gnostics attributed to the intellect, pelagians and semi-pelagians began to attribute to the will, personal effort.  Now our will, not intelligence, took the place of mystery and grace, forgetting everything “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy” and “he first loved us.” [47-48]
Read
  • Acts 9:1-20  Saul asked for authority to haul believers to Jerusalem.  On his journey, he was blinded and heard Jesus ask why he's persecuting him and tell him to go to Damascus.  God told Ananias where to find him; he went and laid hands on him, and Saul regained his sight and strength, was baptized, and began to proclaim Jesus as Son of God.
  • Ps 117:1bc, 2  "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News."  Praise the Lord; he's kind and faithful.
  • Jn 6:52-59  Jesus:  “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him.  The one who feeds on me will live forever.”
Reflect

  • Creighton:  We can eat Jesus' flesh and drink his blood because he sacrificed himself for us.  The Greek for 'feed' in this gospel can be translated 'graze.'  May we graze on Jesus, make him center of our lives, focus our life on him; we need to keep returning to him to feed us.  If we turn to the source of our life, he promises us a real relationship with him; we'll remain in him and he in us, preparing us to give our lives as food and drink for others.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "I believe in the great Mystery":  We can't understand how Jesus can "give us his flesh to eat," but we believe Jesus' revelation of the Eucharist because the Lord has given us faith, Jesus meant "This is My Body; this is My Blood" literally, Jesus is Truth, Jesus is the all-powerful God, as his Resurrection testifies, early Church Fathers taught that we receive Jesus' Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and the Church teaches that in Holy Communion we receive Jesus, "body and blood, soul and divinity."  May we center our life on our eucharistic Lord, living and dying for him.
    The Conversion of Saul/ Michelangelo
  • Passionist:  Both readings speak about blindness.  Saul was blind about Jesus, then becomes physically blind.  When Ananias lays hands on him, he can see again and begins to proclaim the Good News.  In the Bread of Life discourse, many don't understand Jesus, blind to who and what he is.  How are we blind?  Does stress blind us to God’s love and presence?  Does busyness blind us to his call? At times it was hard even for the mystics to see God at work.  Openness to Jesus can restore our sight.  We can receive the Eucharist, study God's Word, and open ourselves to each other.  Even Ananias had to trust Jesus and reach out to Saul.  As we trust in the Lord's love, we see more and more, till we're with Jesus and see him “face to face.”
  • DailyScripture.net:  "All who eat this bread will live forever":  The Jews were scandalized and the disciples divided when Jesus said "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life."  The miracle of the loaves prefigured the abundance of the bread of the Eucharist.  Bread and wine were offered in a thanksgiving sacrifice as a sign of grateful acknowledgment of the Creator, giver and sustainer of life. The sacrifice of Melchizedek, priest and king, prefigured the offering of Jesus, our high priest and king.  The remembrance of the manna recalled that we live not by bread alone but by the bread of the Word of God.  When Jesus blessed and gave his disciples the wine, he was pointing to the sacrifice he was about to make on the cross....  Paul tells us "Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed."  Jesus made himself an offering and sacrifice, a gift pleasing to the Father, and "offered himself without blemish to God" and "gave himself as a sacrifice to God."  When Jesus commands his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life into the center of our being.
Dress legend
  • 'Letters' tie:  Saul asked the high priest for letters authorizing him to seize believers (1st reading)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  A light knocked Saul to the ground (1st reading)
  • 'Jesus (WWJD)' pin: "I'm Jesus, whom you're persecuting"; Saul began to proclaim Jesus (1st reading)
  • 'Piano' pin:  Saul is the Lord's chosen 'instrument' (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Ananias' vision; Saul regained sight when he laid hands on him (1st reading)
  • 'Hands' pin:  They led Saul by the hand; Ananias laid hands on Saul (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "The Lord sent me... that you may be filled with the Holy Spirit" (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin: "Go out to all the world" (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' tie bar:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?" / "My Flesh is true food" (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  If you drink my Blood, you have eternal life, and I'll raise you up... (gospel)
  • Red, white, and blue shirt:  Red for Jesus' blood (Is blood really red?) (gospel), white for Easter, blue for baptismal waters (1st reading)
  • 'Scales' pin:  "Things like scales fell from Saul's eyes" (1st reading)

April 19, 2018

April 19

April 19, 2018:  Thursday, 3rd week, Easter

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For the gospel
For Psalm 66
Pope Francis
Homily:   Every Christian has an obligation and mission:  evangelization.  “Get up”, draw near”, and “start with an actual situation” are keys to it.
The “wind of persecution” experienced by the early Church drove the disciples out to other parts of Judea and to Samaria.  Just as wind transports seeds and sows them elsewhere, so too the disciples went elsewhere and sowed God's Word.  This is how the Lord wants us to evangelize.
Get up and go:  Evangelization is not proselytism; the Spirit guides it, indicating where we're to go and to whom to proclaim Jesus' name.  The Spirit told Philip to “Get up and go.”  There's no such thing as “armchair evangelization.”  Be on the move; go to where you must declare the Word.  Many missionaries left everything to bring the Word of God to far-off lands.
Draw near; use actual situations:  Instead of beginning with a theory, draw near to what's occurring and start there.  Evangelization is not theoretical; it takes place person to person, starting from a situation.  Philip announces Jesus Christ, and the Spirit moves him to baptize the eunuch.  Go till you feel your work has been accomplished.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  The limits of reason:  The truth the Lord has given us is hard to grasp and even harder to express, so we can't claim authority to supervise others.  Different ways to interpret aspects of doctrine and Christian life can help express the riches of God’s word, though it might seem undesirable and confusing to those longing for monolithic doctrine with no room for nuance [EG 40].  Some currents of gnosticism attempted to replace the trinitarian, incarnate God with a Unity....

Our understanding and expression of doctrine is not a closed system precluding questions and doubts.  People's questions, suffering, struggles, dreams, trials and worries have an interpretational value we can't ignore if we take incarnation seriously.  Their wondering helps us wonder; their questions question us” [9-1-15].

We can think that because we know or can explain something, we're better than the masses.  The better educated may be tempted to feel superior [Vita Consecrata 38], but what we think we know should motivate us to respond more fully to God’s love.  “You learn so as to live: theology and holiness are inseparable” [3-3-15].

When Francis of Assisi saw his disciples were teaching, he wanted to avoid gnosticism.  He wrote to Anthony, “I'm pleased you teach theology, but don't extinguish prayer and devotion during such study” [Letter], recognizing the temptation to turn Christian experience into intellectual exercises distancing us from the Gospel's freshness.  Bonaventure pointed out that true Christian wisdom is linked to mercy:  “The greatest wisdom is to share what we have....  As mercy is wisdom's companion, avarice is its enemy” [De septem donis 9, 15].  “Works of mercy and devotionare united with and facilitate contemplation [In IV Sent.].
Read
  • Acts 8:26-40  The Lord spoke to Philip:  “Head south,” so he did.  An Ethiopian eunuch was returning home, reading Isaiah.  The Spirit told Philip, “Join with that chariot.”  Philip:  “Do you understand?” / “How can I?”  He got in.  “About whom is the prophet saying Like a sheep he was led to slaughter...?”  Starting there, Philip proclaimed Jesus to him.  When they came to water, the eunuch said, “What's to prevent my being baptized?”  Philip baptized him, then the Spirit snatched Philip.  The eunuch continued, rejoicing.  Philip continued proclaiming the good news.
  • Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Bless God; He has given us life.  I appealed to him, and he didn't refuse his kindness!
  • Jn 6:44-51  Jesus:  “No one come to me unless the Father draw him, and I will raise him.  Everyone who learns from my Father comes to me.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate manna and died, but this bread comes from heaven so one may eat it and not die.  I am that living bread; whoever eats it will live forever.  The bread I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
Reflect
  • Creighton"Jesus and carbs":  Jesus tells his followers that the path to the Father is through him.  He calls himself “the bread of life.”  Why does he make this connection, and what does it mean now?  Bread making dates back 30,000 years.  By Jesus' time, bread was a staple in most people’s diet:  inexpensive, easy to make, and portable.  Both Jesus and bread provide nourishment; we need both to live to the full.  Some tell us to eat “low carb,” but others say carbs are an important part of a healthy diet.  I think of Jesus as a high-carb eating plan.  Nutritional guidelines say most of our calories should be from carbs, from the right sources (including bread).  A no-carb diet is detrimental to the health of most, but creative marketing influences many to avoid even “good carbs.”  Society also influences us to avoid Jesus:  creative messaging can sway to think that buying a certain product or acting a certain way will bring happiness, but we can't be spiritually healthy without the Bread of Life.  Consume Jesus; be nourished, happy, and healthy.
    The Baptism of the Eunuch
    (Rembrandt)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Full-Phil-ment":  Before we recognize the risen Christ, our hearts need to burn as the Scriptures are interpreted for us.  One of the ways Jesus interprets the Scriptures for us is sending us Philips.  We can't fully understand the Scriptures, for the Lord hides things from the learned and clever.  The Lord has set up the Church, so even the most learned will need the less learned in order to understand Scripture.  We need community, humility, and docility.  "What you've heard from me through many witnesses you must hand on to trustworthy people able to teach others."  We need each other, and others need us, to understand Scripture and meet Christ.  Listen to the Philips and be one.
  • Passionist:  Who sends a missionary and for what?  Jesus calls himself a missionary, “sent” by God to identify those drawn to God so they may receive eternal life; he knows who he is, who sent him and for what.  “Christians are missionaries to the extent they've encountered God's love in Christ:  we no longer say we're ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries,’ but ‘missionary disciples’” (EG 120).  This understanding helps us to reread Scriptures with the "missionary disciple" lens.  What Philip, Peter, James and the other disciples did after the Resurrection was remarkable.  The experience of the Risen Christ transformed them into missionary disciples fearlessly standing before leaders and proclaiming his gospel of truth, justice, forgiveness, and love.  Missionary disciples are empowered to do what the Risen Christ did for his frightened followers:  open them to Scripture and give them the Bread of Life.  Once they begin their missionary journey, there's no turning back.  Let us be inspired by the missionary Jesus and his once-timid missionary disciples and be courageous missionary disciples today.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "If you eat this bread, you'll live for ever":  God offers his people abundant life, divine life, but we can miss it.  The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven. This bread foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.  Jesus claims as only God can that he's the true bread of heaven that can satisfy our deepest hunger.  The manna prefigured the abundance of the bread of the Lord's Supper Jesus gave to his disciples.  Manna sustained the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land but didn't give eternal life, but the bread Jesus offers sustains us not on our journey and gives abundant life to sustain us forever.  Jesus offers us the abundant life of heaven, but we can miss or even refuse it....
Dress legend
  • 'Angel' and 'dove' tie pins:  Angel and Holy Spirit spoke to Philip (1st reading)
  • 'Money bag' tie pin:  Ethiopian eunuch, in charge of the treasury... (1st reading)
  • 'Horse' and 'chariot' tie pins:  ...was seated in his chariot (1st reading)
  • 'Runner' tie pin:  Philip ran up and heard him... (1st reading)
  • Tie with book and reader:   ...reading Is 53:7-8... (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' and 'lamb' tie bars:  ...about the Servant "like a sheep [led] to slaughter" and "lamb who didn't open his mouth," that Philip interprets for him (1st reading)
  • 'Jesus' (WWJD) pin:  Philip proclaimed Jesus to him (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "I'll give my Flesh for the life of the world" (gospel); let all the earth... (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  ...cry out to God with joy (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "God didn't let our feet slip" (psalm)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "The bread I'll give is my Flesh..." (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Blue and white shirt, white socks:  Blue for waters of baptism (1st reading), white for Easter season

April 18, 2018

April 18

April 18, 2018:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Easter

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Saul, trying to destroy the Church, 'handed' believers over (1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  There was great joy in Samaria (1st reading); shout joyfully to God (psalm)
  • 'International flags' tie:  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy." (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "They passed through the river on foot" (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Come see God's works (psalm); God wills that everyone who sees and believes in the Son may have eternal life (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season
Listen

For the psalm
Pope Francis
General audience:  At baptism the priest and parents trace the sign of the cross on the child to express Christ's imprint on the one who's going to belong to him.  It signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross.  The words and gestures in the Baptism liturgy unfold the Sacrament’s meaning as the beginning of our new life in Christ.  The celebration of Baptism begins a process that allows one to live united to Christ in the Church.  We become God’s children and begin a journey of faith.
The name the parents give their child represents their identity and is a constant reminder of the person's uniqueness.  God calls every person by name, loving us uniquely in the concreteness of our lives.  This requires a personal response, not a simple copy/paste.
The cross is the Christian’s distinctive sign, the badge showing who we are:  our speaking, thinking, looking, and working are all under the sign of the cross, the sign of Jesus' love.  We become Christians in the measure in which the cross is imprinted in our lives.  Making the sign of the cross–when we wake, before meals, in the face of danger, to defend against evil, and before bed–reminds us whom we belong to and who we want to be.
Appeal for Alfie Evans and Vincent Lambert:  The only author of life, from beginning to end, is God.  It's our duty to do all we can to safeguard life.  Let us pray that the lives of all persons, especially these two brothers of ours, be respected.  Let us pray that all the sick be respected in their dignity and cared for appropriately, with the help of family members, doctors, other healthcare workers, and great respect for life.
Post-audience:  May the upcoming World Bank Meeting yield positive results favoring authentic integral development respectful of human dignity, policies favoring economic inclusion, and promotion of the lives of the poor.
To Caritas:  Become apostles of charity to those on society's margins.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  A doctrine without mystery:  Gnosticism exalts knowledge or a specific experience and considers its vision perfect; feeding on itself, it becomes even more myopic.  A disembodied spirituality, it seeks to domesticate the mystery of God, grace, and others’ lives.
Somebody with an answer for every question is on the wrong road.  God transcends us; we can't determine when and how we'll encounter him.  Someone who wants everything clear presumes to control God.

God is present in every person, even if apparently wrecked or full of vice.  When we let the Spirit guide us, we find the Lord in every human life.  Gnostics can't accept this because it's beyond their control. [40-42]
Read

  • Acts 8:1b-8  A severe persecution of the Church broke out, and all were scattered, except the Apostles.  Saul tried to destroy the Church, imprisoning believers.  The scattered preached the word and worked wonders, crowds paid attention, and there was great joy.
  • Ps 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Say to God, “How tremendous your deeds!”  Come see God's works.  He rules by his might forever.
  • Jn 6:35-40  Jesus:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me won't hunger, and whoever believes in me won't thirst.  I won't reject anyone who comes to me, because I came to do the Father's will, and the Father wants everyone who sees and believes in the Son to have eternal life and be raised up.”

Reflect
  • Creighton:  When Deacon Stephen was martyred, the seeds of faith were scattered, even though Saul tried to contain them.  While the Christians were in Jerusalem, he could contain their influence, but once they scattered, the word was preached all over, people heard, saw Jesus' victory over evil and illness, and responded with joy; then the persecutors had a bigger problem.  Tyrants believe killing their opponents will stamp out opposition. On occasion, this tactic may even appear to work, but the doctrine of the resurrection is revolutionary:  "Tyrants may believe this life is all there is, but if [you] believe in the resurrection of the body, [you] needn't fear" (Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God); what tyrants do isn't the last word.  As a mother and seven sons were executed for their faithfulness to God's law, one brother about to lose his tongue and hands said, "I received these from heaven; for the sake of his laws I disregard them; from him I hope to receive them again."
Jesus says that his Father's will is that those who believe in him will have eternal life and be raised up.  Persecutors can't win; Jesus will raise them up those they kill.  Jesus is Lord; tyrants may win battles, but they'll lose the war.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "His body":  Creation, the human body, and the Church are composed of many interrelated parts.  "If one member suffers, all do; if one member is honored, all share its joy."  The Lord constantly graces the Church so it may be whole, its harmony complete, but the devil tempts us to drop out or cut off parts of the Church's life.  If we exclude the apostles, house-churches, preaching, miracles, deliverances, healings, and joy of the 1st reading, the Church is warped.  The Lord wants a Church united, healthy, and strong to use to transform the world.
  • Passionist:  Jesus, Bread of Life, doesn’t come just to satisfy physical hunger but to fulfill our yearnings when we come to him.  Nouwen talks of our yearning as the force field of desire that draws us to God.  We're called to shed our old ways and trust our yearnings and our responses to God's presence.  Do we trust that God listens to us, accepts and loves us, and wants to fulfill our desires, and that we can always go to Jesus who can transform our fear, doubt, and pain into hope, peace and new life?
  • DailyScripture.net:  "I'll raise you up at the last day":  Bread sustains us. The life Jesus refers to is connected with God, author of life.  Jesus makes real life possible, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy with God.  Jesus claims to be spiritual food producing divine life in us, he promises friendship and freedom from fear of being cut off from God, and he offers the hope of sharing in his resurrection.
    • Bl. ("Mother") Marie-Anne Blondin, religious, Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne foundress, victim of injustices, example of self-denial and forgiveness.  “The deeper a tree sinks its roots into the soil, the greater are its chances of growing and producing fruit.”  “May the Holy Eucharist and perfect abandonment to God’s Will be your heaven on earth.”  “God will know well how to discern the false from the true and to reward each one according to his deeds.”  “There is more happiness in forgiving than in revenge.”