Weekly bulletin w/b 1 August. Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ your son our lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the holy spirit, one God, now and for ever. amen.

Readings at Mass

1st Reading. Exodus 16:2-4;9-15. God feeds his people in the desert.

2nd Reading. Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul urges the Ephesians to live lives that are in keeping with their baptismal calling and which build up the Christian community in unity and love.

Gospel. St John 6:24-35. Jesus declares that he himself is the true bread from heaven of which the manna provided by Moses was but a foreshadowing.

Reflection

The First Reading tells how God fed his people in the desert with manna. This is regarded as the classic example of God’s care for his people. God is a God of compassion who comes alongside his people, seeing their needs and meeting them.

Jesus too, fed people who were hungry (this is a sign of his identity as the Son of God). But the Gospel makes it clear that the Son of God did not come down from above merely to satisfy the physical hunger of the people. He came to give a heavenly bread that people will eat and never become hungry. The manna in the desert was a foreshadowing of the spiritual food which was now being offered by Jesus to his followers. The manna nourished people physically and sustained life temporarily. The new bread that Jesus gives, will nourish people spiritually and sustain life eternally:

God provided a mysterious food called manna
for the Israelites during their time in the desert.
However, they were told not to stockpile the manna,
but to gather only what they needed for one day.
Jesus told his disciples not to worry about tomorrow.
He said, When you pray to your heavenly Father,
you are to say, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’
No matter how difficult life may be,
for those who trust in God
and who live a day at a time,
the manna falls every day.

(Flor McCarthy. A day at a time.)