A Note on Today’s Readings Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – Year B

Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
Today we hear the response of the crowd after Jesus had fed the
5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Then we hear the first
part of the discourse from the Gospel of John on Jesus as the bread
of life. Starting with bread as a material object and earthly food,
Jesus then leads his hearers to an understanding of communion or
fellowship with him as food for our spiritual nature. It is that
spiritual nourishment which gives eternal life.
Last Sunday we heard the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba
and his murder of her husband. The prophet Nathan comes and, in a
parable about a rich man stealing a poor man’s only lamb, induces
David to confess. David repents, but the damage is done. His
household will be in turmoil from that time forward. Sin can be
forgiven, but its damage continues to work through those around the
In today’s reading from Ephesians, one of the Pauline tradition’s
strongest themes is introduced. We are in unity with God and with
all people through our baptism. Baptism has joined us together into
one life as the body of Christ—the same body which we receive in
Holy Communion.
The Christian Gospel takes as its basis the nature of human life in
this world and sees our life as being shot through with signs of the
fuller life that is ours in Christ. Ours is not a religion of the spirit
alone, nor is it solely a means of dealing with material life in this
world. As bread and wine are revealed in the liturgy to be
instruments of God’s presence in us, so all of life is revealed as the
sacrament of God in the world; we remember that we are (in the
words of St. Augustine) “…means of grace and vehicles of the eternal
Father Eddie+

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