From the Pastor's Desk
Today’s readings challenge us to trust in the providence of a loving and caring God and to hunger and thirst for the Bread of eternal life – the Holy Eucharist. Only God can satisfy our various forms of spiritual hunger.
Scripture lessons: The first reading shows us how God satisfied the hunger of His chosen people in the desert by giving them manna and quail. The restrictions imposed by God for the collecting of manna remind us to acknowledge humbly our total dependence on God and to trust that He will always provide for what we need.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 78), refers to manna as “Heavenly bread” and the “bread of angels.”
In the second reading, St. Paul advises the Ephesians to satisfy their spiritual hunger by turning away from their former evil ways and leading lives of love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Paul reminds us that our acceptance of Jesus as the real source of our life and the nourishment of our souls effects a total transformation in us. Having been nourished by the Bread from Heaven and the word of God, we need to bear witness to Christ by living lives renewed by the Holy Spirit.>
In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes the unique and bold claim: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." Jesus was offering the crowd Bread from Heaven, Bread that nourishes for eternal life, Bread available to people who have faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus invited those who sought after him for earthly food to be fed, as well, by the Bread of his word or teaching, some accepted the nourishment. However, others turned away, disappointed because Jesus’ challenge required a commitment that they were unwilling to make.
Life messages: 1) We need spiritual nourishment from the word of God and from the Holy Eucharist: In the Holy Mass, the Church offers us two types of bread: a) the Bread of Life, contained in God’s Word and b) the Bread of Life, contained in the Holy Eucharist. Let us nourish our souls with this Heavenly manna and carry Jesus to our homes and workplaces, radiating his love, mercy and compassion all around us. Nevertheless, we should not take for granted the Divine generosity that provides these gifts so readily and gratuitously by sharing in the Bread of Life simply as a matter of habit, without showing due attention and proper respect.
2) We need to accept God’s gifts of spiritual life and strength by properly receiving the Holy Eucharist: The Sacrament gives us: 1) Courage to carry out God’s work in the world, 2) Help to live the life God wants for us, 3) Inspiration to know the will of God in our lives, 4) A deeper Understanding of the holy mystery of Christ’s Presence, 5) Encouragement to love others and strengthen the Faith community, 6) Grace to overcome temptation and avoid sin and 7) Joy and Peace of heart, knowing that Christ lives in us and will bring us to God’s Heavenly Kingdom.
Let us remember that the “Bread of Life” is Jesus Christ himself, not merely human bread. It is Food for our souls giving us a share in God’s life and assurance of eternal life with Him.
3) As Parishioners of Christ the King Church, we need to commit ourselves to be good stewards of our Time, Talents and Treasure.