We are continuing during these months of Summer our reading of the sixth chapter of St John’s Gospel; the discourse known as The Bread of Life. During Mass the Homilies are reflecting on the elements that make-up the Holy Mass and this week I will say something about the Offertory or Presentation of the Gifts, and how this all has a meaning which connects in a very tangible way with our lives and the way we can make of ourselves an offering to God on the Altar at Mass.
Last week we spoke in the Homily about the sixth chapter of St John's Gospel and how every three years at this time we begin reading from it at Mass for five consecutive Sundays. I would invite you, during these more restful days of the Summer, to read through this chapter for yourselves: perhaps with your families, in private prayer or as spiritual reading.
Over the coming five weeks, and corresponding with the Summer vacation, we shall hear chapter six of St John’s Gospel being read at Mass. It begins with the feeding of the five thousand and is a prelude to the teaching of Jesus as the Bread of Life. After everyone had eaten, Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to teach his Apostles a lesson about the importance of little things. When they had eaten their fill, he told His disciples to gather up the fragments left over, but nothing may be lost. So they gathered up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves.
As many of us begin the long summer break this week, the Gospel image of Jesus looking out upon us with compassion, is perhaps a good image to keep before our eyes. As we take time away from our normal work, school and home routines, we can never forget that we are under the constant gaze of Jesus. May all our time here on earth give glory to God so that we never forget to put Him first, and especially each week in the Mass, which should be the centre and motivating source of all that we do and are.