Seventeeth Sunday in Ordinary Time

With the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, today we begin a five week discussion about the food that Jesus gives us. This Sunday’s Gospel begins the Sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, the beautiful discourse on the Bread of Life[1].

It is amazing and a big consolation how the Lord sees our mortality and our longing for eternity, and how he converts the sign of the multiplication is the sign of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

We are the disciples whom Jesus tells to feed the people. We don’t have enough to feed them all. We don’t have enough to provide for all their needs. This is true. However we bring what we have to the Lord and He transforms it into more and better than we can ever imagine. And then we feed His people. And we eat.

“But my faith is weak. My love is limited. I’m continually drawn away from the Lord. How can I make Jesus present to the other Teens, to the people I work with, to the people in the neighborhood, more important, to my family?”

Well, my brother, my sister, take the faith you have, the love you have. Bring it to the Lord, he will transform it. Look at what he did with five barely loaves and two fish. Bring what you have to him. It will be more than enough, more than enough for them, and for you.

St. John begins his chapter by saying that the multiplication took place at the time of the Passover. This is not just a random fact thrown in to enhance the story. At the Last Supper, Jesus would give His Body and Blood. The bread at the multiplication does not magically appear. He takes what they have. Then, He gives thanks. He pronounces Eucharist, that word means Give Thanks. He tells the disciples to gather up the leftover fragments. Actually, in the fragments, the hosts not used during Mass, remain His Body and Blood. As you can see after communion we place them in the tabernacle to adore His Eucharistic Presence. Every Tuesday and Thursday here at St. Vincent de Paul we take one and put it in a special container, a monstrance, the word means “showing” and we show the Divine Presence to the people and Bless them with His Presence. And we have Eucharistic Adoration[2].

My faith is weak. My love is limited. Your faith is weak. Your love is limited. But there are no limits with Jesus. We seek His Holy Presence, and He gives us His Body and Blood to take within us.

And then the real hunger begins. The more I eat of Him, the hungrier I get. I am hungry for Christ. You are hungry for Christ. The more we receive Him, the more we want Him. That is why those special periods of the Church year, Lent-Easter, Advent-Christmas, don’t just strengthen the presence of the Lord in our lives; they lead us to want more. Such is the wonderful contradiction of Christianity in general and the Eucharist in particular: He fills us, and yet He always leaves us wanting more.

This is the gift of the One who feeds us with His Body and Blood, and leaves us wanting more, more of Him. The wonderful contradiction: His Love is more than enough for our Lives, and yet, we can’t get enough of you, Jesus.

May we celebrate and cherish the Gift of the Eucharist today and every day of our lives, may be more aware of the wonderful miracle of the Eucharist and be grateful to the Father by the gift oh His Son, trough the grace and love and fire of the Holy Spirit ■

[1] Sunday 26th July, 2009, 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. Readings: 2 Kings 4:42-44. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs—Ps 144(145):10-11, 15-18. Ephesians 4:1-6. John 6:1-15. [Ss Joachim & Anne].
[2] A monstrance is the vessel used in the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and Anglican Churches to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The word monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning "to show", and is cognate with the English word demonstrate, meaning "to show clearly". In Latin, the monstrance is known as an ostensorium (from ostendere "to show"), and in Anglican churches it is called a monstre/monstral.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris