A meditation for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A reading from the holy gospel according to John (Jn 6, 51-58)
Jesus said to the crowds: "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. The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." (Jn 6:51-58)

Often, when I meet friends and they ask me “How are you?”, I answer them “I am older than yesterday!”. Once I said this to a Roman friend, he answered “Yes, of course, but you are younger than tomorrow!”. I enjoyed this and I have been repeating it ever since. Others try to console me, and tell me that I am still young; and I hope that they know that I know that they are lying. One young lady asked me if I wanted to grow younger. I answered sincerely: “No, I do not want to grow younger, even if this were possible!”.

Why should I want to return to my youth, if I have a better offer?

They are Not a Nuisance

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew (Mt 19, 13-15)
“Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.”

I love this short and simple story that spells out God’s love for small children, although I like Mark’s rendition better. When Jesus saw the disciples rebuking those who brought their children for him to lay his hands on them and pray, he told them: “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


Francis the comic strip

From National Catholic Reporter

A meditation for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At the end of last Sunday’s selection from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel we read that after feeding the crowd of about five thousand men, Jesus retired to the mountain alone in order to pray. He was always in contact with his heavenly Father in order to know his will, to ask for his help to do it, and to thank him for being able to do it. When evening came, while Jesus was still on the mountain, his disciples went down to the lake, got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. Jesus himself had asked them to do so. When it was dark, a strong wind started blowing and the waters became rough. They were afraid. When they saw Jesus walking on the rough waves and coming near them, they were terrified. They thought it was a ghost. Jesus said to them, ‘It is I, do not be afraid.’ They asked him to go with them in the boat and immediately they reached the land where they were going.
Today we did not read this part of John’s story, but it is important to remember it because it tells us that Jesus is not afraid to face the rough seas. It tells us also that when things become difficult for his disciples and they invite Jesus to be with them, to enter their boat,  their life, he will be there to help them.


THE TRUE VINE - The fifth Sunday of Easter

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples” (Jn 15, 1-8).



A reading from the holy gospel according to John (10, 22-30)
At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.’ This is the word of the Lord.
Listen here