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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

Occasionally I may write something that causes people to squirm a little. This week is no different. As we read sacred scripture, there are some passages that should be emphasized and underlined in your bible. That’s right; I am encouraging you to write in your bible!

I would like all of you to go home today, open your bibles to St. John chapter 6, and underline the whole thing. Why? Because this is an essential teaching on the Eucharist. It is the beginning of what we call the “Bread of Life” discourse.

In our first reading we see how the great prophet Elisha sets out a few barley loves to feed over 100 people. Yet he trusts in God, and God multiplies the food and there is some even left over. St. Paul tells us that what we have received from the Lord, we should also share and make a part of our lives by being loving, patient, kind etc. It is not always easy to do.

Finally, in the gospel of St. John we have this great story showing our Lord’s power as God almighty, by multiplying the bread and fish to feed over 5,000 people. Once again, our blessed Lord’s divinity shines forth in order to comfort and feed a hungry and lost humanity. This miracle clearly shows that our God can suspend nature and the laws of physics to multiply bread. This then leads us into the Eucharist in which Jesus not only allows Himself to be present on every altar in the Church throughout the world, but He takes on the very appearances of bread and wine so that we may partake of His body and blood in a beautiful holy and profoundly mystical way.

So, this week, read all of St. John chapter 6. It is not hard and will take less time than having a pizza delivered. After you have read it, then take out a highlighter or a pen or pencil and underline it! Once that is done read it again slowly, and I promise you that you will begin to see the Eucharist in a new way. Try it. I double dog dare ya! Something to think about on these long summer days and may God richly bless you always!

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