19th Sunday in OT - August 8, 2021

Today we continue hearing Jesus explain to the disciples, the curious, and the skeptical, that he is the bread of life sent from heaven to give his body so that we may have life forever.  Often the First Reading from the Old Testament is foreshadowing what Jesus and His Father are doing in the Gospel reading now.

In the First Book of Kings we hear God provided food to Elijah at his darkest hour, when he prayed for death.  He had fled to the desert because the king’s wife, Jezebel, had called for his execution.  The kingdom had just suffered through drought and famine and Elijah was starving and despairing.  Nourished by food God sent, Elijah completed his journey to the mountain of God.  Elijah got up at once to eat and drink the food the angel brought, but then he immediately laid down again under the tree.  The angel had to return and order him to eat enough to finish his journey.  He needed a second nudge in order to go from just having his hunger satisfied, to being nourished enough to sustain a lengthy journey.  Our journey through life is winding and difficult.  The works and mission we have been given is demanding.  We too may need a second nudge to do more than just enable our journey, but to make it into a mission that will lead us to God.

Our journeys are rarely smooth and easy.  The hardships we encounter can be difficult to overcome, especially when we face them with anger, bitterness, or a lack of faith and trust.  Jesus reveals himself as the Bread of Life come down from heaven.  So He demonstrates how important it is that we be nourished at the table of God’s Holy Word and the Table of the Eucharist.  Often, because we celebrate Mass so frequently, we take for granted the marvelous gift God gives us in sending us the bread of life come down from heaven.  Let us receive Him with open arms and hearts in order to be united with Him in the closest possible way in this world, and be welcomed whole heartedly in the eternal friendship of heaven.

Love, Peace, Joy,

Fr. Bob


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