Home » Blog » 19TH SUNDAY B


19th Sunday
The readings of the past several Sundays are deliberately chosen to stress the continuity between Jesus and the Church in the matter of the Eucharist.  Many Christian churches gloss over these verses, indicative of their decision to ignore the value of this sacrament.  But as Catholics, we hold to the integral meaning of Jesus’ words and actions regarding this bread, the bread of life, the bread that is Himself. He is our center and the food for our daily journey.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6).
These are very powerful words.  The bread does not refer to the multiplied loaves for the five thousand, in the gospel 2 Sundays ago.  The bread is not about earthly bread, which the crowd still sought, in last Sunday’s reading.  The bread is Jesus himself, life-giving and powerful, in the world but truly from heaven.
How do we understand these words?  First, by looking at Jesus. We gaze at the Lord and offer him thanks for truly he is the food that satisfies the hunger of all generations of humanity.  By his painful death on the cross and his glorious resurrection from the dead, Jesus is the Savior of all.  We have life for we triumph over sin and everything else that destroys the beauty of life. Once he is the Savior, he is the Lord forever!
Second, we also look at ourselves. For Jesus is not bread on display.  He is eaten, consumed, taken up.  His flesh becomes life for others because we are nourished by it. And He becomes part of what we do and say.  If we truly receive Him with our whole heart, then we bring Him always and everywhere.  His “flesh” is life not just on the cross.  It is life because we become life-givers with him.
I never thought I would experience what I did this past week.  The heavy rains and rising floods brought fear and hopelessness to so many of our parishioners.  When I opened the doors of the parish and the school to them, they came in droves, young and old, men and women, Catholics and Iglesia ni Kristo and Born-again Christians.  All in search of refuge and sanctuary. And they stayed here for days, giving me a headache as to where to find food and water. There was no electric power. Our water pump was busted and toilets clogged.  Some began to get sick.
I noticed simple people coming with little “somethings” in their bags.  Nameless donors leaving behind what they could afford to share. People who volunteered to cook, clean, organize for the crowd.  The crowd was like “sheep without a shepherd”.  And the volunteers and donors, through their sacrifice, gave them the bread of life.  Everybody was invited to bring the living bread to the suffering.
You too, receive Jesus in the Eucharist.  What did you do?  What could you have done?  What can you still do for Jesus and the hungry crowd?