August 5, 2012 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ex 16:2-4, 12-15; Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54; Eph 4:17, 20-24; Jn 6:24-35
The Lord is abundantly generous! He gives of Himself out of love for each one of us, and His gifts are unconditional.
Today’s readings draw our attention to the gift par excellence — the Eucharist. In this central mystery of our faith, Christ gives us Himself, completely — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It is so much more than we deserve, so much more than we can wrap our human minds around. It is Jesus Himself. And He invites us to partake of it — to consume Him — so that we might have life in Him.
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (Jn. 6:35).
Every time we step forward to receive the Eucharist, we literally take the Savior into our own bodies. And in so doing, we are given a grace to live our lives to the full, to show forth God’s glory.
How will we respond to God’s gifts of self, to His unconditional outpouring of love?
Will we offer Him ourselves in return — unconditionally? That is what it means to be Christ’s disciples. We recognize His gifts, we see that they are given solely out of love — he expects nothing back — and we respond in sheer gratitude and awe struck wonder, offering Him our whole lives in return!