Sunday, 8 August 2021 : Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 41-51

At that time, the Jews murmured because Jesus had said, “I am the Bread Which comes from heaven.” And they said, “This Man is the Son of Joseph, is He not? We know His father and mother. How can He say that He has come from heaven?”

Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless he is drawn by the Father Who sent Me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets : They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to Me. For no one has seen the Father except the One Who comes from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

“I am the Bread of Life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the Bread from heaven, so that you may eat of It, and not die. I am the living Bread from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The Bread I shall give is My Flesh, and I will give It for the life of the world.”

Monday, 2 August 2021 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop, and St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops and Priests)

Numbers 11 : 4b-15

The Israelites wept and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish we ate without cost in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and garlic. Now our appetite is gone; there is nothing to look at, nothing but manna.”

Now the manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bedellium. The people went about gathering it up and then ground it between millstones or pounded it in a mortar. They boiled it in a pot and made cakes with it which tasted like cakes made with oil. As soon as dew fell at night in the camp, the manna came with it.

Moses heard the people crying, family by family at the entrance to their tent and YHVH became very angry. This displeased Moses. Then Moses said to YHVH, “Why have You treated Your servant so badly? Is it because You do not love me that You burdened me with this people? Did I conceive all these people and did I give them birth?”

“And now You want me to carry them in my bosom as a nurse carries an infant, to the land You promised on oath to their fathers? Where would I get meat for all these people, when they cry to me saying :’Give us meat that we may eat?'”

“I cannot, myself alone, carry all these people; the burden is too heavy for me. Kill me rather than treat me like this, I beg of You, if You look kindly on me, and let me not see Your anger.”

Sunday, 1 August 2021 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 24-35

At that time, when the people saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, “Master, when did You come here?”

Jesus answered, “Truly, I say to you, you look for Me, not because of the signs which you have seen, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for He is the One on Whom the Father has put His mark.”

Then the Jews asked Him, “What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?” And Jesus answered them, “The work God wants is this : that you believe in the One Whom God has sent.” They then said, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe You. What sign do You perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says : They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the True Bread from heaven. The Bread God gives is the One Who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to Him, “Give us this Bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.”

Monday, 5 August 2019 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major)

Numbers 11 : 4b-15

The Israelites wept and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish we ate without cost in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and garlic. Now our appetite is gone; there is nothing to look at, nothing but manna.”

Now the manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bedellium. The people went about gathering it up and then ground it between millstones or pounded it in a mortar. They boiled it in a pot and made cakes with it which tasted like cakes made with oil. As soon as dew fell at night in the camp, the manna came with it.

Moses heard the people crying, family by family at the entrance to their tent and YHVH became very angry. This displeased Moses. Then Moses said to YHVH, “Why have You treated Your servant so badly? Is it because You do not love me that You burdened me with this people? Did I conceive all these people and did I give them birth?”

“And now You want me to carry them in my bosom as a nurse carries an infant, to the land You promised on oath to their fathers? Where would I get meat for all these people, when they cry to me saying :’Give us meat that we may eat?'”

“I cannot, myself alone, carry all these people; the burden is too heavy for me. Kill me rather than treat me like this, I beg of You, if You look kindly on me, and let me not see Your anger.”

Sunday, 5 August 2018 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Exodus 16 : 2-4, 12-15

In the desert the whole community of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of YHVH in Egypt when we sat down to caldrons of meat and ate all the bread we wanted, whereas you have brought us to this desert to let the whole assembly die of starvation!”

YHVH then said to Moses, “Now I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to gather what is needed for that day. In this way I will test them to see if they will follow My teaching or not.”

“I have heard the complaints of Israel. Speak to them and say : Between the two evenings you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have bread to your heart’s content; then you shall know that I am YHVH, your God!”

In the evening quails came up and covered the camp. And in the morning, dew had fallen around the camp. When the dew lifted, there was on the surface of the desert a thin crust like hoarfrost. The people of Israel upon seeing it said to one another, “What is it?” for they did not know what it was. Moses told them, “It is the bread that YHVH has given you to eat.”

Saturday, 6 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 6 : 60-69

At that time, after the Jews heard Jesus, many of His followers said, “This language is very hard! Who can accept it?”

Jesus was aware that His disciples were murmuring about this, and so He said to them, “Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, not the flesh. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”

From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray Him. So He added, “As I have told you, no one can come to Me unless it is granted by the Father.” After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed Him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Will you also go away?

Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”

Friday, 5 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 6 : 52-59

At that time, the Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My Flesh is really food, and My Blood is truly drink. Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, lives in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, Who is life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread which came from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Jesus spoke in this way in Capernaum when He taught them in the synagogue.

Thursday, 4 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 6 : 44-51

At that time, Jesus said to the Jews, “No one can come to Me unless he is drawn by the Father Who sent Me; and I will raise Him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets : They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to Me.”

“For no one has seen the Father except the One Who comes from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the Bread which comes from heaven, so that you may eat of it, and not die.”

“I am the Living Bread which as come from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The Bread I shall give is My flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 6 : 30-35

At that time, the Jews said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe You. What sign do You perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says : They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven. The Bread God gives is the One Who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to Him, “Give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.”

Sunday, 3 August 2014 : 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the story of the feeding of the multitudes by Jesus is the often repeated and heard story in our faith life. We always heard how Jesus out of His great pity and love for His people, fed them with bread and fish that He multiplied with His power. He did not want them to be hungry and physically affected after having followed Him for so long to listen to His words.

This story is something that we often know and remember, but we fail to realise the true significance and importance behind this story. This historical memorial of Jesus and His wonderful miracles often lull us on His greatness and wonders, but we fail to know that we are in truly the same position as those people that day who were seated on the open fields with Jesus, hungry and weak.

And Jesus took pity on us, because He loves us very dearly. It is not just to those whom Jesus had ministered to and performed miracles on, that He gave them His love, but even all of us this day also receive the fullness of His bountiful love and grace. And His disciples whom He asked to minister to the people, have their successors in our world today, and they are our priests and bishops who continue to minister to us in the Name of the Lord.

Today, in the second reading, in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, St. Paul spoke of how nothing can ever separate mankind from God and His love, and no power be it on earth, in heaven or hell is capable of such a feat. Yes, that is except God Himself. He loves us very much and very dearly, and yet we are the ones who continue to elude Him, and continue to reject and spurn His love, preferring the love of Satan and the things of this world to His love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is merciful and loving, but He also hates sin and disobedience of sin to the very core. Sin has no place in His presence and sinners has no place either in His place. That is why, while He gives us many, many opportunities, again and again to repent and change our ways, there is a limit to what He can allow us. Eventually, if we continue to reject Him, and our time is due, we will be sundered forever from His mercy and love, and as a result, we will be condemned for eternity.

In the first reading today, from the prophet Isaiah, we heard how generous God is, and how we have no need to fear at all when we are dealing with God. He knows everything we need, and He will provide for us all of them. Yet, mankind had no faith in Him and did not trust in Him, and rather trusting in their own strength and intellect which failed them.

God knows our needs, and as those people lay hungry in the field, their biological needs dictates that they have the physical need to be satisfied, or otherwise, the spiritual needs will not be optimally addressed. Yes, I refer to how men and women, that is all of us, will find it hard to listen and adhere to the word of God if our stomachs are growling within us, and the pain of hunger gets the better part of our minds.

That is why Jesus fed the people with the bread, and through His own might He turned those bread into a feast for all the faithful. He fed them until satisfied with the physical bread, that they may witness and see for themselves, what He had fed them in the spiritual food of the Word of God. Jesus who is the Son of God is the Word of God made flesh, incarnate into a human being. Thus, every word that Jesus said is truly indeed the Word of God, which is our spiritual food. Remember what Jesus said when He rebuked Satan of asking Him to turn stones into bread.

In the same way, therefore, the Lord will provide for us, and in no better form than the perfect and the best of all foods. He gave nothing else other than His own Body and His own Blood. Yes, this is the Most Holy Eucharist, the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord, which we receive every time we celebrate the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass.

Through this bread and through the wine we drink, we receive into ourselves not just physical food, but also spiritual food, for we take in the Lord Himself into us, the Word who had become flesh, and then offered that flesh to us, that we who partake them may become one with Him and be saved. The Lord shows us His love by the giving of Himself, which He made concrete through His sacrifice on the cross, out of love for all of us sinners and desiring nothing else than our redemption.

Let us all today use this opportunity to ponder and realise how great is the love that God has for us, and how many opportunities we have been given, that we may appreciate how fortunate we are of having such a loving God to care for us. We should not think of the feeding of the five thousand multitudes as something separate from us, but instead, find in it the love which God shows to men, and therefore come to a greater realisation of our part in God’s plan for salvation.

We all should revere our Lord more in the Eucharist, and come to the point where we come to the Holy Mass, fully prepared and expecting to receive the Lord with fully prepared body, mind, heart and soul. Let us follow the example of those five thousand men and many other women and children with them, who came all the way just to follow Jesus and listen to Him intently. We too should also make the same effort to be closer to our God and follow Him.

May we all come ever closer to God through His most Precious Body and Blood, which we receive in the Holy Eucharist, that He may dwell in us, and we dwell in Him. May Almighty God guide us on this journey of life, providing us as always with His grace and love along the way. And may we persevere in our own journey as well, helping each other to reach our ultimate goal in life, that is God. Amen.