Reflections on the Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
- 1 Kings 19:4-8
- Ephesians 4:30-5:2
- John 6:41-51
Elijah was pissed. Or maybe depressed. Maybe a little of both.
He does what the Lord tells him to do. At God’s command, he proclaims a drought to put an end to the worship of Baal, the god of rain. He slaughters 450 prophets of Baal at the Lord’s command.
And Queen Jezebel promises to kill him for his actions.
So Elijah pleads for God to end his life.
How does God answer Elijah? He tells him “you need to make a 40-day journey.”
God gave him the strength he needed. Whether Elijah wanted it or not!
Jesus provides nourishment for our journey, too.
God provided Elijah a meal for a journey of 40 days. All it was was a hearth cake and water.
Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death saying: “This is enough, O LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
How much more do we get! We receive the body and blood of the Lord, Jesus Christ Himself!
And all God asks of us is that His eternal meal nourish us for seven short days.
And if we want and are able and so choose, we can go back tomorrow. To be nourished again.
What a privilege to be chosen — and to choose — to be a Catholic.
“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Have faith. Please! Is it too formal to say “I urge you?” Okay, I’m begging you. Have faith!
Have faith that this is true. That what Jesus Christ taught is true. That He is the Bread of Life. That we can receive Him every day in the Holy Eucharist.
And that His presence within you will strengthen you for your journey.
What questions do you have? What don’t you believe? What prevents you from accepting that the bread we eat is truly the Body of Christ, His real body? How can I help you?
Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for still not posting a meditation daily.
Excerpts from the Holy Bible taken from the Lectionary for Mass and the New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal, published by Catholic Book Publishing Company. I also refer to the notes at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, usccb.org.