18&19 August 2018

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Proverbs 9: 1-6

Second Reading: Ephesians 5: 15-20

Gospel: John 6: 51-58

THIS EUCHARISTIC FEAST

Some things about human nature don’t change, even over the course of centuries. When we celebrate a holiday, we have a meal; when we celebrate a significant event, we have a feast. In today’s first reading, Lady Wisdom is setting a feast, a sign of celebrating the covenant that Israel has with God. Israel’s central remembrance of its saving Exodus covenant is the Passover meal. So it is natural—and not coincidental—that the Christian celebration of the new covenant sealed by the blood of Christ on the cross happens at a meal, our Eucharist, offered first by Jesus in the context of Passover remembrance. It is easy for us, sometimes, to forget the very long and rich religious and human origins of our eucharistic feasting on the bread and cup that are the Body and Blood of Jesus. Today, and for the next few Sundays that we hear the “Bread of Life” discourse from John, let us bring to mind the loving covenant that God makes with us, and be filled with great joy at this marvelous feast that we have come to attend!

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