Monday, August 1, 2011

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Addendum A & B) - Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Sunday's Mass covered Christ's multiplication of the loaves and fishes in the 13th chapter of Matthew's gospel. Miracles don't seem like miracles when they're commonplace, do they? When we lose sight of the common place miracles, we certainly do get the "blahs" and sometimes we go looking for something that is seemingly more exciting.

When Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish, he gave the people a foretaste of the nourishment he would provide through the Eucharist. That meal took care of their physical hunger, and they had plenty of leftovers as proof that God doesn't provide only what we need, but so much more.

We have at every Mass a miraculous food that comes straight from heaven to nourish us. By divine intervention, Jesus Christ is fully present, body and soul – his humanity and his divinity – looking like simple bread and wine. In the Eucharist, he feeds us with his total self so that our own bodies and souls are nourished while we journey through the desert of life's difficulties. How then, can we say that Mass is boring or blah? Sadly, the Eucharist can be so common place that it's easy to lose the awe and wonder of what really happens in the Mass. Why else would we complain that God is not doing enough to heal us or deliver us from hardships or give us whatever we're lacking?

The Eucharist nourishes us in every way that we need IF we participate in it fully. Minimal,  

half-hearted involvement in the Mass prevents us from participating fully in all the benefits of the Eucharist. Every prayer, the songs, the readings, and the communal experience of worship all work together to make the Eucharistic experience complete. Opposed to saying, "I don't get anything out of this. This is boring. Blah! I need something to feed me; to put me on a spiritual high," we should ask ourselves, "How can I appreciate what's going on here?" Full participation means that when we consume Jesus, he consumes us. We become more like him!

Today's reading in Matthew Chapter 13 tells us about the time when the apostles saw Jesus walking on the water. Instead of actually believing that Jesus was indeed walking on the water, they believed something else. "It is a ghost!" they fearfully cried rather than believe in something beyond their grasp to believe: that it was Jesus, present, walking on the water; that Jesus is God and it is not beyond his power to be able to walk on water. May we, then, recognize that it is Jesus present in the Eucharst, instead of limiting our belief to what our human brains tell us ("this is only bread"); that it is not beyond His power to transform Himself into our Bread of Life!

guest author: Angela Hebert

B This is a great 2nd addendum! By, none other than, Jeff Cavins:

It is called, I'm Not Being Fed
In this dynamic talk, Jeff Cavins explores some of the reasons why so many have left the Catholic Church for evangelical Christianity. He responds to the most commonly heard complaint of these former Catholics – that they simply were not being “fed” by their Church. As he presents the story of his own return to Catholicism, Cavins builds a case for the unique character of the Catholic Church as the church founded by Christ.

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