Homily – August 1, 2021

Last Sunday’s gospel told of Jesus feeding a crowd of close to 5000 men, women and children with five barley loaves and two fish. The people were so impressed they want come by force and make Jesus king. Jesus left them and took the disciples with him and went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But the people followed and found him. He chides them that they want more food. Then he introduces them to the reality we know as the Eucharist, Holy Communion.

Jesus cautions the people not labor for food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life which the son of man will give them.

Once again this dubious crowd demanded a sign – give us a sign so that we may believe. They remembered their ancestors were given Manna to eat in the desert, what does Jesus offer them. Jesus challenges their imagination and their faith by his claim; ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Now that the restrictions on our social lives are being lifted we anxious to get together with family and friends. We are at ease having friends over for a meal or a drink. It lifts our spirits getting together with others to break bread. We nourish one another with companionship and conversation.

For the next couple of Sundays the gospel will be centered on Jesus Christ as our bread of life come down from heaven as did the Manna. He makes this promise, I am the bread of life, and whoever eats this bread will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty

Later on Jesus makes another promise. Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you cannot have life in you.t the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you cannot have life in you.

This virus has caused Havoc to our Sunday celebrations; only so many people can attend, they have to register beforehand, they have to wear masks, the way we share communion is so controlled, there is no greeting of peace, we can’t sing, we can’t spend any social time in our gathering space.

It’s all so controlled, contrived, so not Holy Communion.

Hopefully when people are more comfortable with crowds and come again to our Sunday Masses we can again be nourished by the body and blood of Christ. We are hungry, not just for Holy Communion but also for company of our fellow parishioners. We need their presence, we need their faith.

Our common faith tells us that the Word made flesh; the incarnate Christ is present as our bread of life. The crucified Christ gives his flesh and blood as food to all of us

At this Mass, at every Mass we are nourish, strengthened, supported and encouraged by the scriptures we hear, sometimes by the sermon we hear but always the bread of life we receive in communion, in oneness with all those around us.

Bread is more than bread, it is the body of Christ, wine is more than wine, and it is the blood of Christ. Take and eat, take and drink, never be hungry.