Liturgy of the Sunday

Ossza Meg

Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

1 Kings 19,4-8

He himself went on into the desert, a day's journey, and sitting under a furze bush wished he were dead. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'I have had enough. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down and went to sleep. Then all of a sudden an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked round, and there at his head was a scone baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. But the angel of Yahweh came back a second time and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you.' So he got up and ate and drank, and strengthened by that food he walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, God's mountain.

Second Reading

Ephesians 4,30-5,2

do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free. Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you -- as must every kind of malice. Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. As God's dear children, then, take him as your pattern, and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up for us as an offering and a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6,41-51

Meanwhile the Jews were complaining to each other about him, because he had said, 'I am the bread that has come down from heaven.' They were saying, 'Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know. How can he now say, "I have come down from heaven?" ' Jesus said in reply to them, 'Stop complaining to each other. 'No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God; everyone who has listened to the Father, and learnt from him, comes to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father, except him who has his being from God: he has seen the Father. In all truth I tell you, everyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that a person may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

In the speech in the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus applies to himself the passage that narrates the manna sent to feed the people of Israel in the desert.: "I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die." The problem of these words for us, maybe starts from our habit to listening to them, in which we risk not to recognize immediately their blasting strength. Jesus is the salvation of the people such as the manna was for the people of Isarel. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." Those who link themselves to Jesus (those who eat his flesh) have eternal life. The Gospel does not say they "will have" but rather "have" eternal life from now, that is, they receive the gift of a life that does not end; in the fourth Gospel "eternal life" is a synonym of "divine life."
Truly the "bread that came down from heaven" sustains the life of the church as well as the life of each single believer. Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical about the Eucharist states: "The Eucharist, as Christ's saving presence in the community of the faithful and its spiritual food, is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history" (n.9). Elijah's story already prefigured this mystery. The prophet, persecuted by the queen Jezebel, was forced to flee. After an exhausting escape, he slumped to the ground, tired and sad, and only desired death. While his strength, mostly the spiritual one, was failing, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, woke him from his torpor and said to him: "Get up and eat!" Elijah saw nearby his head a cake and ate it. But then he laid down again. The angel had to come back to awake him again, as if to signify the need of always being called by the angel and of continuing to receive nourishment from the "bread of life." In short, no one can feel self-sufficient and everyone is always in need of nourishment. "Then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God" (1 K 19:8). The prophet walked the way of the people of Israel, crossing the entire desert until the mount where Moses had met God. It is the image of the pilgrimage of each Christian community and of each believer. The Lord Jesus, living bread come down from heaven, becomes our food and sustains us on our path towards the mount of the encounter with God.