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Back Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Friday, July 30, 2021
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
When I’m traveling in mission lands where we have had projects, I’m always surprised by the continually acknowledgement of our care and concern even if it were in the past. Here in the Buffalo area, many of the Sudanese families still remember and thank me for outreach efforts that took place in the mid 1990s. It is a good and wholesome thing to be aware of how others have blessed us and to always be grateful.
In this weekend’s first Biblical lesson from the Book of Exodus, the chosen people have forgotten the miracles that God worked for them in their escape from slavery in Egypt. Their most immediate needs had blinded them to their relationship with the God of miracles and surprises. In their despair they even degrade their blessing by longing to return to their slavery conditions proclaiming that those situations weren’t that bad. Really? God hears their grumbling and complaining. Instead of reacting like many of us would, God proclaims yet another way He will care for His chosen. He will provide meat in the evening twilight and manna from heaven in the morning.
The reading of the Gospel of John, chapter six, is a continuation of last week’s reading. Jesus enters into a logical discussion that results in a solemn proclamation. They begin with a reasonable question. How can we too accomplish the works of God? Jesus responds “by believing in the one He has sent.” They must have already forgotten of the multiplication of the loaves from which they had been fed for they ask for an additional sign from Jesus to witness that He is sent by God. They draw from the experiential faith of their ancestors in which they were fed by manna from heaven. Jesus corrects them in saying that Moses did not provide such bread but God alone. He adds further that the bread God gives is true bread that gives lift to the whole world. Burning with desire they request such heavenly bread thus opening the door for Jesus to proclaim: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” John 6:35.
During these summer months, I hope you have some time to slow down a bit. Maybe in those times we can recall the wonderful ways God continually blesses us. Maybe we can name them and thank Him for never giving up on us. If we can recall each other’s goodness to us how much more should we be able to recall the many blessings of God to us. During the heights of the COVID pandemic in our area we experienced a few weeks of church closure when we could not come together and receive Jesus the Bread of Life. For many this was just an unbearable situation. That experience was a good reminder of the blessings we often take for granted. May the Lord continue to bless us. May we acknowledge His blessing each and every day and never fail to praise and worship Him.