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Back The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, August 8, 2021
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
While I take some time off on vacation, I will again thank you, my Nativity family of faith, for celebrating with me my twenty-five years of priestly ministry. Thanks also to the many who honored me by your contributions to the ROTA: Reaching Out 2 Africa ministry. Many continually ask me “how did you get so involved in this ministry?” My answer is always the same. In one regard I’m the founder of this particular ministry but in truth it found me. As often happens in my walk with the Lord, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and miracles begin to happen.
Within this weekend’s Biblical lessons, we have the great prophet Elijah fleeing from Ahab’s wife Jezebel who wishes to kill him as revenge for what happened to the many false cult prophets. Early verses recall the “show down” between their gods and Elijah and the one true God. Exhausted from the journey Elijah prepares for death only to find an angel coming to him with food to strengthen him for yet another journey. I guess God was not done with him yet. Strengthened by this food he hastens to the mountain of God, Horeb where he will continue to minister in the name of the Lord God.
In our continuation of the reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaims Himself as the bread of life. This particular passage is not yet a reference to His Eucharistic presence however that reference begins with the last line proclaimed: “the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” John 6:51. Anyone who lives the Good News that Jesus came to preach; anyone who continues the ministry of Jesus in our world will be fed and strengthened by His life, His presence, and His friendship. All ministry, done in the selflessness of Jesus’ own ministry is life giving.
Throughout the years, when I respond to the invitation of Jesus to minister to others, I am fed by that sacrificial action. This of course happens in my daily parish ministry here at Nativity. I can feel worn out and tired and yet when called to serve in some way the Holy Spirit takes over and new energy is found. In my mission ministry relationship with priests, religious, and seminarians in Africa, dealing with our multiple building projects abroad, as well as fellowship with local refugees on their journey to safety in Buffalo, in regard to their material needs, their longing for security and companionship on their journey, I too have been energized and fed. Often times the vary act of giving of our time and our attention to people in need will itself provide nourishment from above that will assist us to behold miracles that happen. With Mary Magdalene we can run to others and say: “I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18.