For a few weeks now the Lectionary offers us several passages from the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John. One reason is because the Gospel according to Mark is not long enough to be divided up over all 34 Sundays of Ordinary Time. Even so, this sixth chapter of John is so vital to what we do every Sunday—and even every day—in our celebration of the Mass. It is the chapter on Jesus as the Bread of Life. The feeding of the crowd of 5,000 from five barley loaves and two fish with plenty left over is not only foreshadowed in today’s First Reading—note that the proportions are different though: twenty barley loaves for 100 people—but is itself a foreshadowing of the Eucharist through which multitudes have been nourished spiritually for centuries. Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of Life will be given to us over the next several Sundays.
God feeding his people is another sign of how God cares for us, just as last Sunday’s Gospel gave us the image of God as the shepherd of his flock. The abundant generosity of God is always evident in the scriptures, in both the Old and New Testaments. Unfortunately God’s generosity is too often answered with a stingy attitude of entitlement on our part. We always want more from God, but we may not be willing to do anything in return. For example, how often are excuses made for not attending Mass on Sunday? How often are excuses made for not contributing to the financial support of the Church? How often is the excuse blaming God or the Church because they don’t act the way we want? Today’s Second Reading contains an exhortation from Saint Paul that shows us the proper way to live: “I…urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received [as a Christian], with all humility and gentleness…” This is the word of the Lord.
Last Sunday the Lord provided us with a beautiful day for St. Peter’s Shin-Dig. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen; to all who came to enjoy the fruit of their labor; to the businesses and individuals who donated food, prizes and other items; and to all who put everything back in order afterwards. This event is a testament to the value and strong tradition of Catholic education in St. Peter Parish. It was also another step in the return to normalcy.
I’ve had a good vacation at the home farm so far. The weather has been good and everything is green. I’ve been mowing, cutting weeds, visiting relatives and taking it easy. I have some oats to cut for threshing, which I am hoping to cut this week. After a couple of weeks in the shock, we’ll get them loaded up and under cover to hold for threshing on Labor Day, September 6.
Pray the rosary this week for people in our community who are unemployed or homeless. Pray for good weather for the growing and harvest seasons. Pray for people in our country who are suffering devastation due to wildfires or floods, and the building collapse in Florida. Pray for the people in western Europe who have experienced devastating floods; and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.