Elijah was exhausted, he was fed up, and depressed.
He just didn’t want to run anymore.
He was being pursued in the desert by Queen Jezebel's army who wanted to kill him.
His only crime was being faithful to Israel’s covenant with God and encouraging others to do so.
Just when he was about to give up hope God sent him an angel with heavenly food, food which nourished his body but even more nourished his spirit.
And with that food from Heaven he was able to flee across the desert to safety.
God was not finished with him yet he still had work to do.
We have been reading Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John for three weeks now and we will continue to meditate on it for the next two weeks. It is an extreemly important passage for Catholics and I hope that all of you will take some time to study it. Dust off your bible or call one of your Baptists’ friends and borrow theirs. I am going to put some links to good commentaries on my blog
In the first week… Jesus fed 5000 from 2 fish and a few barley loaves and everyone ate their fill.
In the second week we read how the people were confused and thought they could depend on Jesus for an unending source of earthly food, kind of like a perpetually free stop and shop.
Jesus begged them not to seek earthly food but rather to seek food that feeds their soul, food that lasts for ever…
The food that Jesus had in mind was the Eucharist, Holy Communion, Jesus Himself.
This week the people in Caparnum are so familiar with Jesus that they just couldn’t believe that Jesus was anyone special or that the food he offered them was really bread from heaven.
The first lesson we should take from the Gospel is simply this .
Yes sometimes God even uses people we know, people familiar to us to challenge us or inspire us. Maybe even your husband, your wife or your child. It is important not to put people in a box your were that way and your will always be that way.,
And so in today’s readings
Elijah received food from heaven
Jesus offers us Bread from Heaven or the Eucharist
The Eucharist is indeed incredible food.
Food which can and will change our lives if we let it.
The Church teaches then that when receive the bread of life or when we receive Jesus Himself.present in the Eucharist four things happen:
- Every time we receive Holy Communion
All of our venial sins are forgiven.
That’s an incredible thing.
Every time we receive holy communion worthily we get a fresh start. Not many people know that but it’s what we believe.
- Every time we receive Holy communion we are strengthened for our mission and it is easier for us to do what is right and avoid what is evil.
- Every time we receive communion we are united with Jesus in a new a special way That’s what we mean when we say word Holy Communion.
- And finally every time we together and receive communion it unites us in an intimate way with each other and the Church.
You and I are closer to each other and closer to the church every time we come to church and receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
The other night I was sitting in that bench over there. The church was dark and quiet;
As I was praying I the thought popped into my mind...
What would the world be like if every person gifted with our Catholic faith received holy communion with an open heart?
What would the world be like is we were able to really understand the power of the heavenly food we receive each week?
What would the world be like if we made every effort to receive our Lord Jesus worthily without any stain of sin.
The heavenly food sent by God to Elijah saved him from despair and the army trying to capture him.
I believe the loving power of the Jesus present in the Bread of Life could save each and everyone of us and make our world such a better place.
The Eucharist is indeed heavenly food.,
Every time the friar gather in prayer we say this little prayer in the presence of the Eucharist to remind us how special the Bread of life really is.
O Holy banquet in with Christ is receive, the memory of His passion is recalled, our souls are filled with grace, and the promise of future life is given to us. Lord you have given us bread from Heaven Containing within it all delight. Amen
Thank you Lord for the gift of the Eucharist heavenly food indeed.