In this 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, we pick up the introduction to what we must call, “The Bread of Life” discourse. Much of what happens here is a dialogue between Jesus and the crowd, and at this point, the crowd is open and respectful. They call him, “Rabbi”, “Sir”, and “Master.” That will not last. They will be murmuring and turn against him next week. That crowd were chasing him around for more free food, and for the hope that he would finally rise up to be the Messiah they wanted, political and powerful. … more »
For the next five weeks, until mid-August, we set aside the Gospel of Mark and take up the Sixth Chapter of John’s Gospel. I encourage you to read and re-read that chapter often in the next several weeks. It’s only seventy-two verses. Less than ten minutes. It will help you move more deeply into the identity of Christ Jesus and draw you into the mystery of the Holy Eucharist which is John’s goal. The First Testament Readings during this time are accounts of extraordinary feedings that will open our hearts and minds to this Chapter of John’s Gospel in which Jesus gradually reveals his true identity and invites us into a life of union with him through Communion. … more »
The disciples of Jesus are called apostles in the verses of today’s Gospel. It is the first and only time that this word appears in Mark’s Gospel. Knowing that fact ought to get our attention. Even though the word “disciple” and “apostle” are often used interchangeably, the words are different. The Greek word for “apostle” in English means one who is sent. That implies that there is some kind of commissioning. So, an apostle is someone authorized for a task with the authority of the sender. … more »
Choice is a big deal these days, and a lot people seem to be very concerned about protecting their rights to choose. The consequent hysteria that this causes has led to a great deal of conflict. It seems to me that this fuss over choice is at the root of the abortion crises, the challenges over sexual identity, who may receive Communion, and perhaps even over voter’s rights, and countless other hot-button items that are driving us apart, making us unable to tolerate opinions that differ from our own, and turning ordinary decent people into fanatics who would choose to destroy another rather than understand and make a friend. … more »
Telling the difference between good and evil is serious and difficult challenge to many of us. We have all been conditioned by artists and movies to think and expect evil to look terrible and frightening like monsters ugly and deformed becoming the stuff of nightmares. If that was really the case, we would all be safe since no one in their right mind would have anything to do with evil. But the truth is, evil is anything but frightening and ugly. It is, on the contrary, usually quite nice looking, polished, and attractive. … more »
Jesus calls that woman who is unclean, “daughter,” and with that she is healed of her affliction. Of course, her affliction is far more than a hemorrhage. It is far more than the fact that her medical bills have used up everything she had. Her real affliction is her isolation, the separation from family and her community brought on by this hemorrhage which was so horrible and defiling at the time. No one there would have touched her for fear of becoming unclean. … more »
June 20, 2021 Mary, Mother of Light in Jupiter, FL
Let’s take two things from what Jesus says to us today in this Gospel, for when we proclaim the Gospel within the assembly of God’s people at liturgy, it is not history, or something he once said long ago. He is speaking to us right now in this little church here Tequesta, Florida just as much as he is speaking in our Cathedral in Brooklyn or in Lebanon. There is a lot here to digest, but two things stand out and deserve our attention.
First, there are these names. When Matthew put this Gospel together, a lot of people in his Jewish/Christian community knew one or many of these real historical figures. … more »
Just in case you like trivia, the surface of the lake they are crossing is 682 feet below sea level. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides that are between 1000 and 2000 feet above the lake. Warm air on the water and cold air on the mountains just a few miles away can get very turbulent very fast. The cool air falls down the sides of the mountains and mixes with the warm wet air at which point you are going to have a storm. … more »
My father was born in what we would today call “poverty”. In the middle of seven children, he never went beyond 8th grade in a tiny village on the Mississippi River. He left home before he was 15, got a job in Saint Louis sweeping a stock room, and 40 years later retired as a top executive of the same company. He firmly believed in the old saying that you had to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. He also believed that the more you work, the more God will love and reward you. … more »
When I say: “The Mystery of Faith.” You often respond by saying: “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, until you come again.” We should be clear about this, because for followers of Jesus, those words are meaningless unless they reflect the life of the one who says them. On this holy day, we are reminded to pay attention to what we say and mean it. If you believe that something happens to the bread and wine in my hands when Christ speaks those words again, then you ought to believe that something happens to you when you say Amen and when you eat the bread and drink this cup.
The Feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ which in the past we called, “Corpus Christi,” is about us as much as it is about Jesus Christ and the Holy Eucharist. … more »