Celebrant: As a community of believers seeking to grow deeper in our faith, we bring our prayers and needs before our God.
That the Church may inspire the faithful to know and follow Christ through all who preach God's word, we pray to the Lord.
That Church leaders may be gifted with strong faith and wisdom to guide the flock entrusted to them, we pray to the Lord.
That those nations blessed with abundance of the world's resources may share them generously with all who are in need, we pray to the Lord.
That Jesus the Bread of Life may nourish our lives and transform our society from a culture of death into a Culture of Life that welcomes and reveres every person, we pray to the Lord.
That the young people of our parish called to the priesthood and religious life may say a generous yes to their vocation, we pray to the Lord.
That all who mourn the death of a loved one will find consolation knowing Jesus, the Bread of Life, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: Lord, you love us without end and give us hope. Grant that we may reflect your love to one another faithfully and joyfully. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sanctuary of Life
“From within the heart of the world, the family has a decisive and determinative relationship with life. As a Sanctuary of life, the family must welcome it, defend it, accompany it during its development, especially during the whole process of its education….The family lovingly bears witness to the uniqueness of new life….The instruction of the Didache, “Thou shalt not kill the child in its mother’s womb” (2, 1), incorporated into the living tradition of the Church, must resound even today from the heart of every household. Only God is the Lord of life!" (Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President, Pontifical Council for the Family, Homily to Pontifical Academy for Life, February, 1997).
1 Kgs 19:4-8Eph 4:30 - 5:2Jn 6:41-51
Elijah was fed on his journey to Horeb; the Israelites were fed on their journey to the Promised Land; we are fed on our journey to Heaven. In all three cases, God does the feeding. We also see that in all three cases, God’s children complain when they face the struggles of the journey. The greatest temptation is to fail to trust God – and a failure to trust is what often leads to the devastating results we see in the Culture of Death.
In their desert journey (see Exodus 15-17), the sin of the Israelites was to grumble in distrust. Their lack of trust, in fact, was the reason they had to wander for forty years instead of going directly on a journey that could have only taken a few weeks. Even when God fed them with manna, they continued to grumble, getting tired of the same food every day. Some even wanted to go back to Egypt. Slavery seemed less challenging. At least they knew what to expect.
The Gospel passage from John 6 is like a replay of that desert grumbling. “The Jews murmured about Jesus,” John says – just like they had murmured about the manna. We grumble too about the difficulties of the journey, which is why Paul has to give the Ephesians the admonitions he gives in today’s second reading.
But Paul also gives the answer: “Be imitators of God…Live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering…” The Gospel passage shows how Christ hands himself over to us – in the flesh, on the cross, in the Eucharist – that we may have life.
We are to “imitate the mysteries we celebrate” at the altar. The Eucharist teaches us how to live. The food we receive gives us strength for a journey in which we are called to give ourselves away. Some grumble about having to sacrifice, but we see sacrifice as a life-giving gift. Some grumble because things get in the way of their plans for life. But God commanded the Israelites to gather only the manna they needed for the day, and we pray for God to give us “our daily bread.” God is already in our future; yes, we must plan certain things, but we must trust for even more. The more we trust, and the more we sacrifice, the more we will give life, and the less we will grumble.