“Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”


by Fr. Luciano Felloni ( John 6:51-58 )

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time,  

August 19, 2018

Reading 1 PRV 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven columns;
she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,
yes, she has spread her table.
She has sent out her maidens; she calls
from the heights out over the city:
“Let whoever is simple turn in here;
To the one who lacks understanding, she says,
Come, eat of my food,
and drink of the wine I have mixed!
Forsake foolishness that you may live;
advance in the way of understanding.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 EPH 5:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Watch carefully how you live,
not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance,
but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Alleluia JN 6:56

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

The Body of Christ in Our Lives

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 19, 2018
John 6:51-58

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…(Jn. 6:54)”

From Jesus’ time until the present, the Eucharist is one of Jesus’ most difficult teachings to understand, less to believe. People can easily agree with Jesus when He says that we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. People may have a difficult time to forgive and to love one’s enemy, but they will accept that vengeance and violence will not solve any issue. Perhaps, it is easier if we are simply to accept Jesus with our whole heart and believe that we are saved. However, Jesus does not only teach those beautiful things. Jesus goes to the very length of the Truth about our salvation. He is the Bread of Life, and this Bread of Life is His flesh and blood. Jesus does not only ask us to believe but to eat His flesh and drink His blood so that we may have eternal life.

For the Jews during that time, to eat human flesh is a total abomination and to drink blood, even the blood of an animal, is forbidden. Thus, when Jesus tells them to consume His Flesh and Blood, many Jews would think that He must be out of His mind. The people are following Jesus because they witnessed Jesus’ power in multiplying the bread, and they want to make him their leader. Yet, Jesus reminds them that they miss the mark if they simply follow Him because he feeds them with the ordinary bread. They should work for the Bread of Life that is Jesus Himself. Many of Jesus’ initial followers murmur, and eventually, they leave Him, because of this very hard teaching.

Going to our time, Eucharist remains the most difficult to understand. Are this small white tasteless bread and a drop of wine truly the Body and Blood of Christ? How can this ordinary food contain the fullness of Jesus’ divinity and humanity? Why should we bend our knee in adoration before an ordinary thing? The greatest minds ever born, from St. Paul to our contemporary scholars, have tried to explain the mystery, but none of their explanation is adequate. St. Thomas Aquinas who was able to write one of the most profound explanations of the Eucharist, eventually had to admit that this is the mystery of faith. He wrote in his hymn to the Blessed Sacrament, Tantum Ergo, “Præstet fides supplementum, Sensuum defectu (Let faith provide a supplement, for the failure of the senses).”

Indeed, the greatest faith is needed to accept the greatest mystery, because the humblest form of food brings us to the eternal life. Yet, this becomes one of the most beautiful Good News Jesus brings. The eternal life is not something we only gain afterlife, but Jesus makes this life available here and now. If God is truly present in this small bread, then He is also present in our daily life, no matter ordinary it is. If Jesus is broken in the Eucharist, so He is embracing us in our darkest and broken moments of life. If Jesus who is the Wisdom of God, is contained in this little host, this Wisdom provides us with true meaning in our seemingly senseless lives.

What I am ending my pastoral work in the hospital, and one thing I most grateful is that I am given an opportunity to walk together with many patients, and to minister the Holy Communion to them. The Eucharist as the real presence of Christ becomes their consolation and strength. It becomes the greatest sign that God does not abandon them despite unsurmountable problems they need to face. Through the Body of Christ in the Eucharist and the Word of God in the Bible, we together journey to find meaning in the midst of painful and broken reality of sickness and death. In the Eucharist, our life is not just a bubble of intelligence in the endless stream of meaningless events, but participation in the eternal life of God.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

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

Jesus avoided offending people by paying the tax like every responsible citizen does. Be obedient to the laws of the world in so far as they are in consonance with the laws of the Lord.

Children are often victims. We failed them in many ways: by our bad examples, by our careless use of words, by our scandalous actions, by our negative influences. We are accountable how we nurture & form them. Children are watching us. What do they see in you?

Marriage is not made in heven. It is made & designed that pipol might reach heaven. How is ur family or married life? Avail of d graces that marriage provides. Or marriage will bcome a suicide.

Jesus’ gesture signifies his preference 4 chldren. He loves childrn. 2day, Jesus wants us stil 2 bless & 2 love childrn. Our loving acts & kind words wil surely hv a lifetime effect on them. May they be a blessing 2 othrs someday

The food we eat & d beverages that we drink giv us life. But only Jesus’ flesh & blood give us ETERNAL life. And he gives them free, accessible, available & on convenient timetable. Avail of this gift. Drink & eat it.

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

‘Shame and sorrow’ – Holy See responds to Pennsylvania report

“Victims should know that the Pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.”

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