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19th Sunday Yr B – eating life…. sounds like a good idea

August 7, 2012

Download Reflection – 19th Sunday Yr B

Reflection Questions

  1. The continuing theme of being ‘fed by God’ is developed in the readings this week. Elijah sits exhausted under a tree in the desert. He is being hunted down by Princess Jezebel who was married to the King of Israel. She tried to replace all prophets and temples of Yahweh by importing 450 prophets and followers of B’aal from her homeland in Sidon. Elijah has just killed them all and is now on the run! (see 1Kings 18, 19-46). Have you ever got into difficulty as a result of obedience to God? Have you ever said to God: ‘this is enough’? Is there any painful purifying of the Church that you find particularly difficult to participate in and endure?
  2. God encourages Elijah not to focus upon his own pain and fear. God wants to offer food and strength for the “40 day” journey ahead. Do you tend to focus on your own pain and mumble and groan? How could you develop a habit of being open to help and ‘being fed’? God wishes us to move from simply ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’. If you were to ask God or someone for help, what would be your question in one sentence? How could you grow your hunger so you experience being ‘fed’ with scripture and the eucharist?
  3. St Paul teaches that we were ‘sealed’ at our Baptism. A ‘seal’ was a special jewel or stone or metal cylinder marked with a ‘sign’ and pressed upon clay or wax or object. The ‘mark – seal’ indicated the owners signature, ownership, authority on a legal document or object. The link between the person and / or object was now displayed to the world. As ‘sealed’ people we are to witness to whom we belong. Paul inserts attributes displaying God; kindness, compassion, forgiveness. Are you conscious of being ‘sealed’? Is there any anger or bitterness the spirit would like you to let go of so as not to ‘grieve the spirit’ dwelling in you?
  4. Jewish people often referred to their ‘laws’ as ‘bread from heaven’. Their laws and teachings from Moses gave them life and revealed God to them. They grumble and ‘murmur’ at Jesus’ claim: I am the bread that comes down from Heaven. Hidden within this phrase Jesus is claiming the Divine Name ‘I AM’ and to replace the ‘law’. He teaches further that he is true life-giving ‘bread’ but that ‘bread’ will now be replaced with ‘flesh’. John presents clearly the levels of meaning: Bread. Jesus. Flesh. Can you see in this text of John 6 the threads of our belief that in the Eucharist / Mass it is truly the ‘flesh’ of Jesus we receive? Do you recognise the invitation following reception of Jesus to now become ‘life-for-the-world’?
  5. The only way God can be truly revealed is someone must come from God and live among us. This is indeed the great religious hope of the Jewish people. However they become satisfied with the laws of God and were not ready to accept the ‘person’ of God. Jesus claims he is this person truly ‘from’ God, has ‘seen’ God. This is the claim of Christianity that sets us apart from other world religions. Because Jesus is divine – God – among – us what he promises to give us – his flesh and blood – he can and will do. As we approach the end of 5 weeks of teaching on the Eucharist consider prayerfully reading John 6. How would you explain the Eucharist now in your own words?
  6. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

 

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