Eighteenth Sunday of the Year


Dear friends in Christ

During the month of August we continue the reading of the sixth chapter of St John’s Gospel.  The feeding of the five thousand was such a significant manifestation of the power of Christ, that it is related in all four Gospels.  This week therefore, gives me the opportunity to continue a reflection on the Holy Eucharist.  The four synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark & Luke - give us a detailed account of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament during the Last Supper.  In the Gospel of St John there is only the Mandatum, the washing of the Apostles feet.  In the sixth chapter of his Gospel however, there is layed-out for us the beautiful teaching of Jesus about Himself as the Bread of Life.   Following the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the crowds followed Jesus to the synagogue in Capharnaum; here He challenges them that, what He has given them as bodily food should lead them to seek the Bread that lasts forever.  By eating the Bread that Jesus will give in the Eucharist, they will not die, but live forever.  They respond enthusiastically at this prospect of life eternal but question how this man, Jesus, can do it.  Then begins the challenge: can they accept that He, Jesus, is God-made-man and can therefore give Himself to them as the Bread of Life.  The words of Our Lord at the Last Supper are fulfilled with every Communion: If a man loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come and make our home with him.  The soul becomes the temple and tabernacle of the Holy Trinity.  The life of the Three Divine Persons transform us, nurturing the divine seed that was first planted at Baptism.  For this reason, we need that food of eternal life week-in-and-week-out so that the harshness of this life and passage on earth won’t be too much for us.

I wish you all at this time - especially those travelling - a very happy and holy time of rest and holiday!  God bless you.

Msgr Kevin Hale