God calls us, and prepares the way, and yet still gives us the freedom to choose to follow. Joshua, in our first reading this weekend, responds, “As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.” Peter’s response in the Gospel was, “Master, to whom shall we go?” These two responded yes to God. However, for some in the Gospel, the cost of discipleship was too much and many chose to walk away. There are choices that each of us makes each day and every day – some simple and some complex. We make all kinds of choices every day. Some are as simple as whether to have toast or cereal for breakfast. Others can have more importance, such as which doctor to select. Choices always have consequences – some foreseen, and some barely imagined. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith. Thus we have no one else to choose but Christ. He is our way, our truth, our life, and going somewhere else will never satisfy. Let us pray that we may respond like Joshua and Peter for their responses characterize the faith of believers. For there truly is no where else to go!
Saturday, August 18, 2012
We believe that in his death on the cross, Jesus gave his life for the salvation of the world. But he also gave himself to us for our salvation in the sacrament of his body and blood. This weekend’s Gospel reveals the depth of our life in Christ. We have no life with us unless we eat his body and drink his blood. And when we do so, we have not just life, but eternal life. We are nourished by Christ as we feed on him. His life becomes our life as we connect with him in the banquet we share at the altar of sacrifice, the table of the Eucharist.
We have come to know Jesus as “the Word made flesh” who offers himself to us as “the bread of life.” As a Eucharistic people, we are called to live and be in community with each other that reflects the reality that we are nourished by the body and blood of Christ. Others should see how we live out our faith in everything we do from the manner in which we greet one another to the good nature evident in our hearts.
Friday, August 10, 2012
It seems that there is always something that we can complain about: the weather, the traffic, ill health, or a neighbor who lets dandelions flourish. When the Hebrew people were wandering in the desert they murmured against Moses and against God because they were hungry. Manna from the heavens and flocks of quail became their food. The crowd murmured against Jesus in this weekend’s Gospel as well, complaining that he was putting on airs, that he was acting above his station. God is not some giant complaint department, though maybe sometimes our prayer may sound like that. Rather, God is our loving Father who gives us our daily bread.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Bread is one of the most common and popular foods in the world and plays an important role in every civilization. Bread connects us to culture, tradition and religion. It is considered the staple of life. In the Old Testament, wheat and bread are symbols of the earth’s fruitfulness. Manna prefigured the Christian Eucharist, a sign of God’s generosity. In the New Testament bread becomes a symbol of a supreme gift from God. The many grains making up a loaf of bread symbolize our coming together.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us “Do not work for the food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” He goes on to say that he is the Bread of Life, and if we partake of this bread from heaven, we will never be hungry.