Bulletin: August 12, 2018
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Like Elijah, don’t we often get weary? We get weary for many reasons, even weary of doing good and believing all that Christ has taught. Sometimes, we forget (or fail to believe) that there are angels who constantly serve the Lord and protect us from all evil. They are mentioned in scripture, as in today’s first reading, and several times in the Gospels. When an angel comes from God and wakes Elijah and tells him to eat and drink the food that God has provided, he obeys immediately and sleeps again. Again the angel awakens him and bids him eat and drink. And “strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.”
This is quite a feat—to walk for forty days on one meal. But it is symbolic of our strengthening by the Eucharist to face all that we must in our day-to-day living. Sometimes we seem to be walking forever, exhausted and discouraged, but—conscious of the strength that comes from the Eucharist—we walk with faith and courage, facing whatever difficulties we encounter along the way.
These days, we find ourselves in a bitterly divided nation and a divided Church. We may see ourselves as both right and righteous, but we need to take a closer look at both ourselves and others before we make judgments. It is certainly possible that we are right and the other side quite wrong, but we must be aware, with humility, that we may be the ones who are wrong about many things. Even if we are in the right, Saint Paul reminds us that “All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.” To be right is of no consequence if we are constantly condemning and ridiculing our “opponents” in the world and in the Church. “And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ,” says Saint Paul. So “do not grieve the Holy Spirit.”
FOOD OF LIFE
“Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God.” Jesus speaks of himself as the “bread of life.” He teaches that those who come to him are called by God, and that he himself is the only one who has seen God; if we believe, we will be raised on the last day. If we think we are right only because we believe we are right, based on our own knowledge, we kid ourselves. If we believe we are right because we follow the writings of others who boast of their knowledge of God but do not show it in kindness and love for others, we are fools. If we condemn others because they do not believe as we do, we condemn ourselves for not following the humble and gentle Jesus. We must be kind, and always remember that “They shall all be taught by God.” Judge not, for as Jesus tells us, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever . . . whoever believes has eternal life.”
Today’s Readings: 1 Kgs 19:4–8; Ps 34:2–3, 4–5, 6–7, 8–9; Eph 4:30 — 5:2; Jn 6:41–51