Homily of August 19, 2018, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Jesus the Bread of Life
 
In the First Reading, we are provided with a tender image of God. God, the Divine Wisdom is like a woman serving a meal of rich food and choice of drink that offers understanding to those tempted by foolishness. We must be humble enough in order to understand that when God feeds us we are great. However, it is foolishness not to accept God to feed us because. God’s feeding gives life. 
Children need to eat, and they need to eat well. We are the children of God. We need to take the food our Heavenly Father provides so we can grow. Wisdom has set the banquet and calls to us: “Come, eat my food and drink my wine.” Ephesian also call for wise living in the face of evil times. In effect both the first and the second readings lead us to Jesus, the embodiment of God’s wisdom who gives us the bread of life. On this note, this is the fourth of five Sundays devoted to the Sixth Chapter of John, the discourse on the Bread of Life. 
Our Gospel reading gets right to the heart of its Eucharistic message: Jesus says, “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you will not have life within you.”
God gives us good food. Good food is a pre-condition of the physical body to be alive and healthy. Scientists tell us the various and marvelous ways in which our bodies are nourished by the foods that we eat. Christ’s discourse on the gospel text of today points to the fact that we equally guarantee the purity of our souls and its’ consequent destiny by spiritual nourishment. It is Jesus’ own body and blood that guarantee our eternal life. Through material substances, specifically, under the species of bread and wine, the believer participates in a heavenly reality and enters into communion with the risen Christ. The church defines a sacrament as something material that symbolizes and brings about a spiritual reality.
In the Super of the Lord, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we really receive the body and blood of Christ. The risen Christ becomes for us then, the food of eternal life.  We must be wise enough to understand this truth about the Eucharist. In effect the Spirit of Wisdom, gift of the Father and the Son, leads us to forsake foolishness and to enter more deeply into understanding the will of God for us and for our world. Jesus sets the table for us, calling us to come and eat, to enter into deeper communion with him. May we eat well so that we can have the strength to do the work of the Kingdom.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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