August 9, 2015 19th Sunday in Ordinary time. Fr Jim Miller

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 9, 2015

Reading 1 1 Kgs 19:4-8

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 Eph 4:30—5:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:41-51


Homily— August 8 & 9, 2015

   In the first reading we have Elijah ready to give up because queen Jezebel wanted him dead as she was trying to rid the land of the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Elijah had just taken on the 400 prophets of Baal and won but now was fleeing for his life. “He prayed for death, saying:  ‘This is enough, O Lord!  Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

   Have you had a time like Elijah when you thought you could not go on but with faith and trust in God you overcame that challenge in your life?   I remember feeling like Elijah about 30 years ago and praying to God and saying “Lord if you want to take my life now it is ok with me”. Obviously the Lord did not want me yet and the Lord continues to bless me with life and opportunities.

   Elijah was fed with a hearth cake and a jug of water and was able to walk 40 days and 40 nights to the mountain of God. What keeps me going is receiving the Eucharist so that I can taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

   I did not see the debate among the 10 leading Republican candidates on Thursday night but we know the race begins to smear the opposition by digging into their personal lives for every true or unsubstantiated detail that might cast doubt on their abilities, ethics, principles and values.

   These details are often blown out of proportion and have, in the past, managed to sway an election.   It is sad to see, and unworthy of the electoral process, but it is a reality nevertheless. Why?  What part of human nature wants to put another person down?  Why do we listen to these accusations?

   In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ statement “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” and his references to “my Father” drew the contempt of the crowd.  They thought Jesus was overreaching in calling God “my Father”.  They knew his parents and knew that he had come from Nazareth, not heaven!  They were unwilling to open themselves to something beyond their comprehension—That Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Man. Many had seen the miracles that Jesus did and heard Him break open the Old Testament Scripture with truth that warmed their hearts and fed them with bread and fish but now they pulled back from believing that Jesus is the “living bread”. I wonder how many of you believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.   My prayer is this: “I believe that you are present in the consecrated bread and wine that is now Your Body and Your Blood.   Help my unbelief.”  

   I would like to close by repeating the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians.  “Brothers and sisters:  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.  All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

   So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.”

   In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Click here to LISTEN to homily