August 11, 2018

19th Sunday - B (August 12, 2018)


“My Flesh for the Life of the World”
John 6:41-51

In this short passage, 10 verses in total, Jesus repeats five times the universality of God’s salvation. Though they are different, the words “whoever,” “anyone,” and “everyone” convey the same meaning. 

God’s salvation is given to all humanity in the coming, death, and resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. 

This salvation continues to be given to us today in the Eucharist – “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 


August 4, 2018

18th Sunday - B (August 5, 2018)


“Give Us This Bread Always”

People went looking for Jesus because they “ate the loaves and were filled.”  Now they want more of the same kind of bread.

That causes them to lose sight of the greater gift Jesus has for them – “the bread of life.”

What things that do not last forever, or desire and expectation of them, draw me away from the bread of life?

Image source: https://www.qumran2.net

July 28, 2018

17th Sunday - B (July 29, 2018)


Abundance

Beginning today, for five Sundays, instead of the Gospel of Mark, we’ll have Chapter 6 from the Gospel of John. Jesus speaks of himself as the Bread of Life for the most part of this chapter.

The chapter begins with this miracle.  And John certainly highlights the abundance of the food that Jesus gives.

What humans can offer is so limited.  “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”  “A boy has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

In contrast, Jesus gave them “as much as they wanted.”  There was “more than they could eat.”  They “had their fill.”  And there were still twelve full baskets of leftovers.  

Image source:  www.agnusday.org

July 22, 2018

16th Sunday - B (July 22, 2018)


Jesus Christ – the Source and Model of Compassion 

Jesus gives us brothers and sisters to love and he shows us how to be compassionate. 

St. Paul, a Jew, calls the Gentile Ephesians his “brothers and sisters.”  He then gives the source of this relationship.  It is Christ who has brought all into God’s family by his blood on the cross (2nd Reading).

And Jesus himself is the ultimate model of compassion – “his heart was moved with pity” for the people when he saw them “like sheep without a shepherd.”   

Jesus' attitude should challenge me to ask if I discriminate people who are different.  Moreover, do I live the compassion of Jesus in treating other people in my life?

Image source:  www.agnusday.org
 

July 14, 2018

15th Sunday - B (July 15, 2018)


We Are God’s Children

Today’s second reading and the Gospel complement each other in giving us an exhortation in our identity and mission in the world. 

In the second reading, we hear Paul’s conviction that even before God created the world, “God chose us in Christ to be holy and without blemish.”  Moreover, “in love, God destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ.”  Thus, in Christ, by God’s grace, we have become God’s children.

Then in the Gospel, Jesus “summoned the Twelve and began to send them out” with his power to do what he himself had been doing – to preach, to drive out demons, and to cure the sick. 

What was given to the Twelve continues with us today.

By God’s favor, we are children of God, sharing in the mission of God’s only Son. 

Image source:  www.agnusday.org

July 7, 2018

14th Sunday - B (July 8, 2018)


"Is He not …?"

The people from Jesus’ native place think that they know who Jesus is, but they don’t. 

How about me?

If I want to know Jesus, I first have to spend time with him.

I can also let him tell me more about him.  And one way of doing that is to read, reflect on, and pray with Scriptures.

I cannot really say I don’t have time to read the Bible. 
To put things in perspective, a news article averages 500 – 800 words.  A novel has between 50,000 to 110,000 words.  For example, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is about 77,500 words total.
A biography on the life of so-and-so has an average of 80,000 to 200,000 words.

Meanwhile, the Gospels are not just Jesus’ biography or some stories about him.  Jesus reveals himself to us through those words. 

And the entire Gospel According to Mark has 11,304 words, which is about 22 single-space typed pages. 

That should put things in perspective if I think I don’t have time to read the Bible and let Jesus speak to me.  


July 1, 2018

13th Sunday - B (July 1, 2018)


“Daughter”

The Gospel tells us that the adult woman “was afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.”  This particular illness would have made her unclean by the ritual regulations of the time.  As a result, she became an outcast from the chosen people of God [1] all those long twelve years.

After Jesus has cured her, he calls her, “daughter.”  Interestingly, in all four Gospels, this is the only person Jesus addresses directly as “daughter.” 

Jesus heals her of her physical illness.  Moreover, he restores her place in God’s family.  She is forever a daughter of God.  

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[1] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of Mark: a Commentary. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002, p. 107.

Image source:  Online, no credit was given