August 25, 2018

21st Sunday - B (August 26, 2018)

“We Have Come to Believe”

“You have the words of eternal life.”  “You are the Holy One of God.”

Those are affirmative statements of faith that Peter professes.  They are even more significant considering that “many of Jesus’ disciples” now walk away from him.

Peter and the rest of the Twelve could not have just profess such faith in Jesus on the spot.  It is the result of a process.  Peter says, “We have come to believe and are convinced.”

Faith is first and foremost a gift from God.  However, Peter and his friends “have come to believe” in Jesus because they have been with him, listened to him, and shared life with him.

Only by spending time with Jesus can we come to believe and are convinced that he has the words of eternal life and that he is the Holy One of God.  

August 18, 2018

20th Sunday - B (August 19, 2018)

The Eucharist – The Gift of Eternal Life

In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses the phrase “eternal life” more than he does in all 3 other Gospels combine.  This is a major theme in John’s faith in Jesus.

In Chapter 3, Jesus speaks of eternal life as the gift of God’s love for the world in giving his only Son: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  (3:16).

Later, Jesus prays during the Last Supper, summarizing his mission that he spoke of in 3:16: “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”  Knowing Jesus is having eternal life.

And in today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of his body and blood as the gift of eternal life already given to us even now.  “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”  (Note:  the verb is in the present tense).

Knowing Jesus is not some abstract knowledge.  In his body and blood, we encounter the Divine and God’s loving gift of eternal life.

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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?

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