Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (Green)
1st Reading: 1 K 19:4-8
He himself disappeared into the desert going on a day’s journey. Then he sat down under a broom tree and prayed to die, “That is enough, Yahweh, take away my life for I am dying.”
He lay down and went to sleep under the broom tree. Then an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” Elijah looked and saw, at his head, a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. He ate and drank and went back to sleep. The angel of Yahweh came a second time to him, saying, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too long for you.” He got up, ate and drank, and on the strength of that food, he traveled for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
2nd Reading: Eph 4:30—5:2
Do not sadden the Holy Spirit of God which you were marked with. It will be your distinctive mark on the day of salvation. Do away with all quarreling, rage, anger, insults and every kind of malice: be good and understanding, mutually forgiving one another as God forgave you in Christ.
As most beloved children of God, strive to imitate him. Follow the way of love, the example of Christ who loved you. He gave himself up for us and became the offering and sacrificial victim whose fragrance rises to God.
Gospel: Jn 6:41-51
The Jews murmured because Jesus had said, “I am the bread which comes from heaven.” And they said, “This man is the son of Joseph, isn’t he? We know his father and mother. How can he say that he has come from heaven?”
Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me.
For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread which comes from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh and I will give it for the life of the world.”
READ: People questioned the teachings of Jesus. They even brought up His biological provenance to discredit Him. However, Jesus pressed on with His teachings. He amplified His claim to being the “bread of heaven.”
REFLECT: People have a hard time understanding the teachings of Jesus. They begin to investigate His credentials and pay strict attention to the particulars of Jesus’ life. It is the price famous people pay. The public scrutinizes every inch of their lives. This did not make Jesus back down. His authority rested on solid ground. Instead, He pressed on with the affirmations that made His listeners squirm with discomfort. His truth was too hard to bear at that moment. But this is part of the trade that Jesus accepted. He would not always be understood. What is important is to proclaim His Good News in good times and bad times. This in itself attests that He believed first in what He preached. Others might take a long time, or they might never believe at all. But it is worth the effort to try.
RESPOND: We sometimes shy away from explaining to others the hard tenets of our faith. We feel uncomfortable explaining it to others. This attitude misses the point of proclamation and witness. We do not proclaim ideas but a person. The person of Jesus Christ and His Good News! Perhaps it is difficult for us to discuss our faith with others because in the first place, we never really know who Jesus is. Today is a good day to start knowing He Who is behind the Book.
PRAY: God our Father, help me connect in a deeper way with your Son. I have been neglectful these past days and tend to substitute Him with other things that are unimportant and mundane. May my heart find its way back to Him, so that I may know Him enough to proclaim Him confidently to others. I ask this in His name, Amen.
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