Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 5, 2018

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels NSSMA

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1  EX 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

Responsorial Psalm  PS 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54

R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

 

Reading 2  Eph  4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Alleluia  MT 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel  JN 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Amen

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2018
John 6:24-35

“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (Jn. 6:29)

To say “Amen” is something usually we do in prayer. Commonly it is used to end a prayer. Our biblical prayers like Our Father and Hail Mary are usually concluded by amen. In several occasions, amen is mentioned more often. One of my duties as a hospital chaplain is to lead a prayer of healing for the sick. I always ask the family and friends who accompany the patients to pray together. Sometimes, they will say amen at the end of the prayer. However, some others will utter several amens within the prayer, and in fact, some people will say more amens than my prayer! In several occasions, amen is utilized outside the context of prayer. Preachers with a charismatic gift will invite their listeners to say amen. Surely, it is a good technique to keep the listeners awake!

Amen is a simple and yet very powerful word. Amen indicates our strong affirmation and agreement to something. It is the most concise manifesto of our faith. Amen is a biblical language, and in fact, it is a Hebrew word, that means “surely!” or “Let it be done!”. It is interesting to note that the early usage of amen in the Bible is to affirm curses and punishments (see Num 5:22; Deu 27:15). Fortunately, the Book of Psalm teaches us to use amen to affirm God’s blessings. Jesus Himself is fond of saying Amen. He uses amen to affirm the truth and power of His words (see Mat 5:18; Mat 8:5). There is a radical shift here. Unlike the usual practice to affirm God’s blessing, Jesus says amen to His own words. This is because Jesus’ words are God’s blessing per se. Thus, learning from the Biblical tradition, we say amen to affirm God’s blessings. Moreover, learning from Jesus, we say amen to express our faith in His words, and ultimately to Jesus Himself. Surprisingly, the first person in the New Testament to proclaim the great amen to Jesus is none other than His mother, Mary. Before the angel Gabriel, she says “Be it done to me according to your words,” in short, “Amen!” (see Luk 1:38)

One of the greatest amen we proclaim is when we receive the Eucharist. For hundreds of millions of Christian Catholics who receive the Holy Communion every Sunday, to say amen seems rather usual. Yet, it is supposed to be the most difficult amen we say. To believe and affirm that a little consecrated white bread is the Body of Christ containing the fullness of Jesus’ divinity and humanity is either totally insane or a sign of extraordinary faith. Yet, I do believe this is Jesus’ invitation to believe in Him in the Eucharist. Relating to this Sunday’ Gospel, Jesus says that the work of God is to believe in Jesus, the one sent by the Father (see John 6:29). Continue reading chapter 6 of this Gospel of John, we discover that to believe in Jesus means to accept that He is the Bread of Life, and those who eat this Bread will have eternal life (see John 6:51). Thus, to say faith-filled amen to the Eucharist is the fulfillment of Jesus’ words, and leading to the fullness of acceptance of Jesus as God and Savior.

As people who go to the Church every Sunday and receive the Eucharist in a regular basis, do we say our Amen in the fullness of our faith or is it just a mechanical repetition? Does our Amen enable us to recognize the daily blessing we receive? Like Mary, does our faith manifest in our daily actions, and make a difference in lives?

Sunday Reflections  by:
Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP — with Xenon Oble and Marvin Obedo.

The mustard seed that grows & becomes a huge tree needs someone to sow it & a field where it can grow. Allow pipol 2 plant d seed of greatness in u. Or be d field where God’s goodness grows.

At times, we judge ppol by d little knwledge we hv abt them. And that knwledge is our basis of rejecting, discriminating or disdaining them. Try 2 knw them mor. Giv othrs a chance 2 be who they ar. They are mor & much beter than u can imagine.

This gospel account presents 4 types of ppol: Crowd pleaser – Herod Hater – Herodias Blind follower – her daughter Fearless preacher – John d Baptist. Among them, only John stood on hi moral grounds. He lived & died 4 wht he believed in. Imitate him.
Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

Featured Church

National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels

National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *