CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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  • Deacon Bob Fishman

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

This week’s readings continue the teachings on the blessed Eucharist. In our first reading we have the great prophet Elijah, who is feeling discouraged. He believes that he is the only prophet left alive and is going through a difficult period spiritually.


There are times in our own walk when we will encounter valleys or “dark nights” of the soul. It happens. We cannot have mountain top experiences without going through a few valleys as well. God sends an angel to Elijah and gives him a hearth cake to eat. After eating this, the prophet is strengthened and journeys on ahead.

This too is a pre-figurement or a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. It is through the Eucharist that we too can be strengthened and revived. The second reading St. Paul tells the Ephesians not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and encourages them to forgive one another, to stop being angry and control themselves. Sometimes we may have harsh feelings or grumblings against each other and we need to remember who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to treat each other with dignity and respect.


Finally we have the gospel. Jesus tells the people that He is the true bread from Heaven, and that He came from Heaven. This is not a Hallelujah moment for those listening. Instead they start grumbling and they begin doubting our Lords words. Unfortunately, this is the way we sometimes react when receiving our Lord in His Eucharistic form. We go up in line without ever reflecting on who and what we are receiving. There are times when it seems we simply go through the routine. We need to wake ourselves up!


Ask God to give us a new hunger for the Bread of Life, a new desire to be united with our Lord and new Faith to open the eyes of our soul. If we do this then we will be fed in an incredible and beautiful way. So this week, ask God for these insights. Make sure you are in a state of grace when receiving our Lord. Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and get right with God. Then you will be strengthened as Elijah, you will live like you ought to and the graces from the Eucharist will fill you like never before. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!

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