August 19 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: To Become What We Receive

August 16th, 2018

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First Reading  Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has set a feast before us.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 34:2-3,4-5,6-7

A prayer of praise to God for his goodness

 

Second Reading  Ephesians 5:15-20

Filled with the Spirit, Christians strive to follow the will of the Lord.

 

Gospel Reading John 6:51-58

 

Love demands union. The greater the love, the more intimate is the union desired. The lover longs to be joined to the beloved – in thought, in letters, in phone conversations, in physical presence, and ultimately – in spousal love – through the love embrace between husband and wife. So much does Jesus love us that he conceals himself under what looks like bread in order to ravish us in the love embrace of Holy Communion! Such was the meaning of one of the early Church Fathers, St. John Chrysostom, when he wrote: “How many of you say, I would like to see his face, his garments, his sandals. You do see him, you touch him, you eat him. He gives himself to you, not only that you may see him – but also to be your food and your nourishment.”

The Eucharist is a prayer, it is a sacrifice. It is a blessing and it is also a challenge. We have to become what we behold, to become what we receive.