From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
August 1 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life…Sir, give us this bread always.” The people have gone searching for Jesus after the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 we heard last week. They are looking for more food, but they get much more offered to them. They are given nourishment which lasts forever. We are partakers in this eternal nourishment – the Eucharist! It is the very presence – body and blood, soul and divinity – of Christ himself. It is the nourishment which sustains us for all time. In our first reading we hear about the whole community grumbling when things went wrong. Are we so different? It is easy for us to complain about our misfortunes and to look for logical answers as to why misfortune hit. Logic doesn’t solve the problems though. The truth is we are left with mystery, not answers. But, we are never left alone! Jesus is always present if we will have him. He gives us comfort and leads us through our suffering to a better place. More importantly, he continually feeds us allowing us to become more united to him. He leads us to truth and to his everlasting love. Paul reminds us in his letter, by coming to believe in Christ, we also are called to live in Christ and be Christ in all things. In this way, we become that love of Christ to others.
As Vincentians, it is essential that we partake in the Eucharist with great frequency so as to be properly nourished and fed for our particular mission of charity and ministry to the poor. For it is the Eucharist and Christ Jesus which is the source of all we do. We should give of ourselves for others as Christ gave of himself for us. We should act with the passion Jesus had for us. And we should walk humbly recognizing that it is only by the grace of God we are able to help others. How often do I seek the Eucharist with the passion, desire and reverence that I should have? How often am I transformed by the Eucharist that I might help others? How do others recognize the presence of God in all my actions?
Lord Jesus, feed me with your bread from heaven. Let me be nourished and driven to action by it. Allow me to be sustained in my efforts that I may have the passion for the poor that you had yourself. Grace me in humility, as I carry out your mission for me and for others. We pray all of this in your name. Amen