Why are you here?

Greetings on this the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Kgs 19:4-8; Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Eph 4:30—5:2; Jn 6:41-51
Notes: The Church is focused on the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John for five weeks. This is week three. Actually week four is set aside for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother (August 15th).

Four of the major Old Testament persons are presented along with and in support of the gospel message of the Bread of Life, in order:

  • Elisha
  • Moses
  • Elijah
  • Joshua

I put an outline you can find here: Bread of Life Outline

The entirety of the five gospel portions climaxes in the fifth week.

After many rejected the Bread of Life discourse of Jesus, he asks the essential question:

Who do you say that I am?

The gospel reading August 22nd, 2022 asks the same question.

First reading
Elijah and Moses share many similar experiences as prophets and lawgivers:

  • They had miracle bread/water.
  • They performed other miracles by the Lord.
  • They saw the Lord (theophany on the mountain Horeb/Sinai).
  • They journeyed a long time (forty years/forty days).
  • They faced rejection by the people.
  • They were given a special person to help them (Joshua/Elisha).
  • They were given special someone to succeed them (Joshua/Elisha and Jehu, which means “He is God”).

Chapter 19 of the book of the 1 Kings is the summit of the Elijah experience.

Under a death threat by Jezebel, Elijah runs away!
At first he just runs, toward Beer-sheba, he becomes completely exhausted and invites death.

A messenger comes, touches him and gives him cake and water.
Eat!
After a rest, the messenger comes again with cake and water.
Eat!
He then is moved to go instead on a forty day/forty night journey to Mt Horeb (Mt Sinai).

Bread for the Journey – we refer to the Holy Eucharist in the same way.
Twice given bread for the journey.

Now having arrived at the mountain of God, Horeb, place of the Law, he entered a cave for shelter.
Twice the Lord asks him a question:

Why are you here, Elijah?
Ans: I am alone, they seek my life.

The Lord says, go outside on the mountain and the Lord will pass by.
(you are not alone, I am with you in the light silent sound).

Why are you here, Elijah?
Ans: I am alone, they seek my life.

The Lord says, go back!

  • You shall anoint Hazael king of Aram (we shall say the Gentiles, but unclear exactly, by Elisha).
  • You shall anoint Jesu king of Israel (done later by others)
  • You shall anoint Elisha a prophet.

Elijah is no longer alone.
He has the Lord.
He is given Elisha to accompany him and succeed him.

In one sweeping event:

  • Elijah is given Bread/Water of life.
  • Elijah is on the mountain of God the place of the giving of the Law and see the Lord (and lives!).
  • He is given mission and friend.

When we celebrated the (blog post here) Memorial of the Transfiguration this past Friday, Jesus seen in glory and speaking with Moses and Elijah, we can appreciate the connection between “Seeing the Lord” and the “Bread of Life (Manna and Miracle)” with the Bread of Life Discourse of Jesus.

Eat THIS bread.

Second reading
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

We were sealed in the Lord by the Holy Spirit on the day of our Baptism and Confirmation.

In the reading last Sunday, in the great confrontation of the Bread of Life discourse:
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”

Jesus has the seal of the Father. In his seal he acts in the person of and the authority of his Father.

Responsorial Psalm
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia Verse
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Gospel Portion
Why are you here, <insert you name>?

The Bread of Eternal Life, who is Jesus, is given here.
Jesus himself taught us this as the gospel records:
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.

Manna which sustained gave life in this life of the body.
Jesus gives the new Manna, himself, Eucharist, gives us life in this life and life everlasting.

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.”

Eat!
Let us journey together.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

3 thoughts on “Why are you here?

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