Two weeks ago the gospel was the multiplication of the loaves. In that story Jesus saw that the people were hungry and in need of nourishment, so he accomplished a miracle. Our gospel today is from the same chapter of John’s gospel (chapter 6). Unfortunately, the nourishment that Jesus wanted to give the people was more than nourishment for the body. Jesus tells us: “I am the bread of life….whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
In today’s first reading the Israelites receive the gift of manna, a special bread from heaven to sustain them in the journey through the desert. In the gospel Jesus states that He is the needed food for the journey when He says: “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Wouldn’t it be great to have the money in your pocket multiplied? I often wish the money in the Sunday collection would be multiplied. But what I would most like to see multiplied would be the gifts of the Lord. Gifts such as love, peace, forgiveness and understanding would be wonderful to see multiplied in my life and in the world. In the gospel and first reading today we hear about the multiplication of bread. That too would be wonderful – a day when no one went hungry.
A Day of Rest
While some cultures build the workday around the afternoon siesta, thus ensuring that all workers have a daily time of renewal, others no longer even endorse the idea of “keeping Sunday.” Instead, everyone is constantly busy, caught up in an endless cycle of tasks to be done.
In today’s second reading, St. Paul writes that he was given a thorn in the flesh so that he might not become too proud. He then writes that in prayer God told him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I have felt the power of God overshadowing me during these past couple years, years when I was completely broken. In February 2017 I had a bike accident where I badly damaged my right rotator cuff, tore my right bicep and broke a rib. I was unable to hold any weight in my right hand for 3 months—limiting my ability to do ministry and exercise. I had difficulty sleeping, only averaging a few hours of nightly sleep for those months. I became depressed and felt powerless. Fortunately, through good friends and spiritual direction, I managed to get back on course. I realized God’s power in my weakness and had to admit my defeat. Having an athletic mind I don’t do defeat easily, and asking to move from St. Kateri parish felt like defeat. What I’ve discovered was it was more of a surrender than defeat. As I surrendered to God and my own limitations, doors opened and I began to recover.
Dear Parishioners and Visitors:
The desire to touch the holy is a strong human impulse. In our incompleteness, we yearn for union with the divine. This desire leads us to seek out people, places and objects that give us a spiritual “connection.” Just as Michelangelo’s Adam stretches out his hand toward the Creator, so we stretch out our hands towards God’s presence. Like the women in today’s gospel who dared to reach out and touch the garment of Jesus, we too reach out with hope and longing.