Saturday, August 04, 2012

Never Hunger

Never Hunger

August 5, 2012
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012 B
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.  Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not.  "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.  Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."  Exodus 16:4,12
That is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth.  Ephesians 4:20-24
"Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."  Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."  John 6:32-35


Our piety can be seen as what we share with others.  My memory of the perfect piety was a person giving me the last of their bread.  Exquisite hospitality is giving to another some of your food if one comes as a visitor.  I was in Chile as a Missionary and working at visiting the households in one of the sections of my parish.  I was asked if I had lunch and when I made the mistake of saying I had not eaten, the person brought out the last of the bread in their household.  I had no choice but to accept.  I have never forgotten how amazed I was at the generosity of this person.  Giving food to another is part of hospitality.  If you visit another in their home, your friendship is always acknowledged by the sharing of a meal.  God rained down manna from heaven on the Israelites.  The bread from heaven showed them they were loved by God.  We do not live by bread alone.  Every word that comes forth from the mouth of God feeds us.  How we make the word of God part of our lives is our piety.  The word of God is a continual challenge to us to grow in the love of God.


Our study of the word of God is how we feed on the bread of heaven.  The word of God is seen in the Scriptures.  We study the Scriptures to find out what the Lord is asking of us that we might be more perfectly united in intimacy with Christ.   The Passion and Death of Christ were the effects of the infinite love Christ has for us.  We know he died for us to appease the justice of his Father and to atone for our sins.  Eucharist offers us the love of Christ.  He would not simply be a part of our lives.  He feeds our body and our soul.  Our body assimilates his Body and his Blood.  Our minds are swayed by the thoughts he leaves us.  How we make our lives part of what Christ has taught us by his word is where the growth into Christ manifest itself.  The humanness of Christ lives on in his Church through the sacraments.  It is the Eucharist that brings us into his life even as we assimilate Christ into our lives.  Christ calls himself the bread from heaven that the Father gives us.  He tells us unless we eat of his body and drink of his blood we will not have life everlasting in us.  Eucharist is the taste of heaven we are given in life that will have its fulfillment in eternity.  Christ tells us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”


The perfect response to the gift of Christ of himself in Eucharist is to come to him as often as we can.   How hungry we are for Christ shows itself in our frequenting Eucharist as often as we can.  Those who come every day to Eucharist might not be able to put words on why they are there.  Some Churches only have Eucharist a few times a year.  The Catholic Church offers Eucharist every day.  Those Christians who are able to come daily have a gift that changes their life because Christ becomes an intimate part of who they are and they experience the closeness daily as a part of who they are.  Others can only make it to Eucharist weekly because they do not have control over their lives.  Those who come frequently never regret the gift that Eucharist brings into their lives.  Those who want to come more frequently and are unable have a claim on Christ because of their desire.  Christ would be the Way, the Truth and the Light of our lives.  Our coming to him means we will never die.

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