Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Life that Satisfies – Gospel in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Life that Satisfies – Gospel in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

He is the Bread of Life, through whom we are promised to never hunger or thirst. Clearly it would be overly simplistic to assume he means here physical hunger and thirst, particularly in light of how he opens the discourse (and the simple fact that his closest followers hungered and thirsted on a regular basis!). Rather he is pointing to a deeper hunger, a deeper thirst here; that hunger and thirst in our hearts that cannot be sated by all of the pleasures in the world or even the world itself, but that He promises to satisfy entirely.

How does he do that? He gives us Himself, the Life and the Love that He Is. He who is the Bread of Life emptied himself on the Cross (Phil 2:5-8) so that we might be filled with him—body, blood, soul and divinity—in the Eucharist.

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Learning Christ – Second Reading in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Learning Christ – Second Reading in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction… Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere “command”; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.” (Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI)

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The Path to Healing – First Reading in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Path to Healing – First Reading in Preparation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

…as with Israel, many things in our past—perhaps even some in our present situation—challenge our ability to trust God and have hope for our future, particularly when that future is fraught with uncertainty. The point is not to pretend those things aren’t real and just believe. It is rather to allow God into those places through prayer, acknowledging them as real wounds, fears, desires and needs in order that they may be healed and met. For he is the God whose delight is not in the strength of the horse, or in the legs of man, but in those who hope in his steadfast love (Ps 147: 10-11).

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Not Enough – Gospel Reading for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Not Enough – Gospel Reading for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the words of Fr. Johannes Emminghaus: “In the Eucharist the Church enters into this total self-giving of Christ, and we individually attempt to enter into it as fully as possible.” Ironically, as we do this we become more painfully aware of the fact that all that we have to offer is insufficient—not only for ourselves and our salvation, but also for His glory and for the good all those around us. We, quite simply, are not enough. It is the last thing we want to hear…but it is a vital step to sanctification, knowing that our hope lies not in our own strength or ability, but in God’s and His abundant and unfailing love. “My grace is sufficient for you,” the Lord told St. Paul, “for power is made perfect in weakness.”

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Indomitable Love – Second Reading of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Indomitable Love – Second Reading of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Not even our sin separates us from his love. It destroys our relationship, yes, but it does not end His love nor His willingness to die in order to restore that relationship. Paul’s confidence, born of the cross, is simply this: “He who did not spare his only son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (v32).

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Come to the Banquet – First Reading for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come to the Banquet – First Reading for the  Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Still the invitation goes out, “Everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters”. Still the words are spoken, “This Is my body” and “This is my blood”. Still all who receive the bread and wine receive Christ himself. It is no mere symbol. It is no mere remembrance. It is the promised banquet where we receive real mercy, real grace, real pardon and peace, for we receive the real presence of Jesus, who is not only the host, but the banquet itself.

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