for Sunday, August 9, 2009
Sometimes we find ourselves at the end of our strength and feel that we
cannot go on. Sometimes, instead of asking the Lord for strength to go on,
we ask the Lord to end our lives. This is not any attempt at suicide, just
a plea to the Lord to end the situation that we are experiencing because it
seems impossible. Maybe it is impossible from a human point of view.
The First Book of Kings tells us about Elisha coming to this point-and at
that very point, God intervenes in the life of Elisha. Elisha cries out to
God and God hears him. So often in our human lives we keep trying to solve
our problems and fix our problems and do everything by ourselves, and we
don't cry out to the Lord. We don't even have to wait until we are at
the end of our strength. The time to cry out to the Lord is always right
Today's Gospel continues from last week, giving us another part of
Chapter 6 from Saint John. We know that Chapter 6 in the Gospel of John
speaks about the Eucharist, about God's presence in our lives as bread.
In today's passage, the people begin to murmur against Jesus. They know
Jesus and cannot believe that Jesus has come down from heaven.
The people are probably not even sure what it means that Jesus has come
down from heaven, but for sure it sounds like he is claiming to be more
than just another ordinary person in their midst, and that sets them off.
How often we also can be harsh on people we know when they try to be more
serious about a spiritual life! Or when they try to be good! Or when they
try to change a pattern in their lives!
Jesus teaches us that He is the way to God. Jesus calls God His father
consistently in the Gospels. The people know that Jesus is saying that He
Himself is the way to find God. Jesus presents Himself as the bread of
life, as a bread that gives eternal life. Jesus tells us that if we eat
this bread, we will live for ever.
Although for us who are Catholics, this may not sound strange, for people
who have never heard this kind of teaching before, it must have sounded
totally crazy. Jesus is willing to sound crazy to speak the truth. This
is another lesson for us. We can be uneasy speaking the truth if we think
that we might suffer because of it or if we think that people will think
less of us.
Perhaps this Sunday we can hear all of this summarized in the second
reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians: Be imitators of God, as beloved
children, and live in love. If we do this, we shall be invited to speak
truth, to continue walking even when the road is difficult, and to give our
lives completely in the service of this God who loves us and demands all.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: