National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

The Peace Pulpit

What does Jesus mean when he says he's the bread of life?

 | 

What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do? This question is supremely important, as you might imagine, trying to know what God wants us to do, and as we listen to our scriptures today, I think we will find clearly what God wants us to do, and then we must pray that we respond and do the works God wants.

We must mimic Jesus by spreading compassion for the less fortunate

 | 

Now when we take a few moments to reflect on the scripture lessons today, to try to listen together to this word of God and let it enter into our minds, our hearts, our spirit, and transform us, we must first of all remind ourselves of something about the Gospels -- they are not biographies. They are not historians sitting down to write the facts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Rather, they are theological reflections.

Jesus shows we must always respond to violence with an act of love

 | 

Every Sunday, if we listen carefully to the readings and sacred scripture, we will find a way that they impinge on our lives to give us guidance in the circumstances in which we live. I think it's quite extraordinary how the lessons today speak to us in a very particular way about the terrible experience that just happened to us and that terrible incident in Colorado that took place on Friday of this week.

The everyday prophets are in our midst

 | 

Most of us probably do not remember our Baptism because, of course, we were almost all of us infants when we were baptized, but there is a very important part of that ceremony of Baptism that we should reflect on regularly. After the priest has poured the water on the person to be baptized, and through that beautiful symbol has taken that person through being buried in the death of Jesus, and rising to new life in Jesus, after that the priest, deacon or minister anoints the person with holy chrism, and says, “As Jesus was anointed Priest, Prophet and King, so may you live always as a member of His body.”

We must treat all people with love, as God and Jesus do

 | 

In order to give a little bit more context to a reflection on our scripture passages of today, I will share with you one other very short passage from the first letter of St. John, a passage with which we're all familiar. John tells us, "My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God because God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God lives in them."

Filled with the spirit, we must be patient in waiting for the Reign of God

 | 

Two people were confirmed during the Mass from which this homily is taken.

Of course, as always, we need to reflect on the scriptures every Sunday, because it's a way of our growing and our understanding of our faith and our relationship with God. When we do that, we want to make sure that we do it within the framework of what we are celebrating. Today, we listen to the scripture in a special way to see how these scriptures teach us something about our lives as baptized and confirmed disciples of Jesus.

Our covenant unites us with God and with one another

 | 

I'm sure all of us are very familiar with this feast of Corpus Christi, which means, "Body of Christ," but which we now celebrate as the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Most of us probably wouldn't remember how we developed our spiritual life around the Blessed Sacrament, as we called it. When we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, we concentrated most of all on what we called the real presence. We had processions in the old days where we even went out into the streets to show Jesus present in the midst of all of us, all people.

 




The Solemnity of the
Most Holy Body and Blood
of Christ
Exodus 24:3-8

Psalms 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18

Hebrews 9:11-15

Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

Full text of the readings

 

Follow a servant leader to truly become a community of disciples

 | 

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton gave the following homily June 3 for Fr. Michael Donovan, the pastor of St. Donald Parish in Roseville, Mich., who is celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood.

It is, for me, a great honor, privilege and a joy to be here today to celebrate with Father Mike the 50 years that he has given of his life to serve God's people and to serve God as a priest. We all rejoice with Father Mike and give thanks to God for him. He has asked me to, through the reflection today, which I'm very happy to do. ... I spent this week trying to prepare this homily, and I felt very much like I did way back in the 1950s, when I was at St. John's [Provincial Seminary in Michigan] before Father Mike was.

Pentecost reminds us to be forgiving 'other Christs'

 | 

It's very important that we now take a few moments to reflect on the scripture lessons that we've heard today, and to reflect on those lessons in the context of this great feast of Pentecost that we're celebrating, but also, in a way even more in the context of this sacrament of confirmation that we're celebrating. It's very important for these four young people, but also for the rest of us, because it's important that we remind ourselves that each one of us has been baptized and confirmed in the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

God's eternal love provides perfect example

 | 

I think to begin to get the full impact of what Jesus is teaching us today, it's helpful to go back a little way in this Gospel. During this same Last Supper conversation a few minutes earlier, Jesus had told his disciples, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God but through me, and if you know me, you know God also. Indeed, you know him and have seen him." Then Phillip, at this point in the conversation, says, "Lord, show us God and that will be enough."

Pages

Subscribe to The Peace Pulpit

50-and-forward.jpg

NCR Email Alerts