A Note on Today’s Readings – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Year B
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish
Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life continues to be the center of our liturgy, as it has been now for several weeks. Jesus has met physical hunger by providing material bread (a primary Old Testament sign of salvation); he has said that a spiritual (or mystical) relationship with him constitutes the bread of eternal life; now he says that nourishment with his life is given by actually eating his flesh and drinking his blood. If we eat his body and drink his blood, we will have eternal life.
In the first reading, God’s Wisdom is personified as a hostess inviting us to eat her food and drink her wine, thereby receiving her into our lives.
Early Christians understood Jesus as the incarnation of God’sWisdom. This is, therefore, a passage that has been seen by Christians as an Old Testament prefiguring of our Savior who calls us into new life by becoming one with him sacramentally.
The second reading is once again from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. We are exhorted to let God’s Spirit inebriate us and speak through using thanksgiving and song.
“People with a story to tell and a song to sing” is a way Christians have been described. It is preeminently in the liturgy that we carry out that role. We gather here to be fed physically, spiritually, and sacramentally. Our response is to give thanks (the word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”) and, having told our story and sung our song here, to take it out to our brothers and sisters in the world.