20th Sunday in ordinary Time
Here we are at the 20th Sunday in ordinary Time and we have just past the middle of August as we head onwards towards the end of the Holiday season. Then we get into September and the beginning of the time of return with so many going back to work, school, college or whatever. For some it may be a time of change and for others it will be a time for renewing old acquaintances and work, school or college friendships. Our Gospel reading today speaks again of Jesus as the bread of life and once again he is misunderstood. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.’ We who share this meal share in the life of Jesus. Within our sharing we are brought into the life of God. We are caught up in the life of the Father, who has sent his Son among us as our source of life and wisdom, and who has sent his Spirit into our hearts.
The Second Vatican Council speaks about the centrality of the Eucharist. “The Eucharistic Sacrifice,” the Council says is “the fount and apex of the whole Christian life.” The Latin words are “fontem” and “culmen.” Even if you don’t know Latin, you can recognize their meaning. Culmen” provides the root for our English word, “culminate” – to reach the highest point. Fontem” refers to a “fount,” or a source. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives and all we have and do as Catholics and as Christians. The meaning of the Eucharist should be reflected in the lives of all who receive the sacrament.
The Eucharist helps us to be more thoughtful, compassionate and forgiving but this cannot happen without our own commitment to love and service of others as well as our commitment to our faith and that includes the parts of it that we particularly like as well as the parts of faith that are a challenge and I think that these days faith and being a person of faith is a big challenge. The Christian faith is an all in package and many people want what they want from their faith picking and choosing what they like and as a result they don’t realise or see that the great goodness of the faith taken as a whole is what god wants for all of us. The people who heard Jesus’ preaching at the beginning could not mistake his meaning. He meant in no uncertain terms, that if they were to receive his life eternally in the kingdom, then they must begin now to receive the Body and Blood which he poured out unto death at Calvary in the Eucharist, first instituted on Holy Thursday in the upper room and faithfully handed down in the Church in every generation right to ourselves in the present day. when some of his own beloved people rejected him, as many of his beloved people do today Christ did not change his teaching or water it down, he watched them leave with sadness, and i’m sure Jesus is looking down on us with that same sadness when he sees so many leaving his church in our time. Today as the Body of Christ that is the Church we remember Jesus because he shared human life with us and enjoyed all that we enjoy, including a good meal, good friends and good conversation. We remember him when in the Eucharist we break bread and pour wine, because he poured out his life for us, allowing his body to be broken by death on the cross.
We remember Jesus because He placed himself at the service of his Father and at the service of the people he loved . We too are called all these years later to that same service of others, being people who are called to be more thoughtful for others, compassionate and forgiving .By receiving the Eucharist, we are nourished, and enabled to nourish others through the example of our lives and the way we live them.