Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection, 1 August 2021
Mass Readings, Reflection – Homily for Sunday August 1, 2021
EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
Today’s Rosary: Glorious Mystery
St Alphonsus Ligouri (Memorial)
Theme of the Sunday: Jesus Bread of Life. The central idea that links the first reading and the gospel is the food that God provides for his people. In the desert Israel received manna, a food which could give strength to a perishable body. Now God feeds his people with the bread of life, with his word, Jesus of Nazareth. The second reading shows the kind of transformation this bread can work. Those who assimilate it will become new people.
“I will rain bread from heaven for you.”
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus l6:2-4.12-15)
At that time: The whole congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God. ”’ In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 78:3 and 4bc.23-24.25 and 54 (R. 24b)
R/. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us,
we will tell them to the next generation:
the glories of the Lord and his might. R.
Yet he commanded the clouds above,
and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna to eat,
and gave them bread from heaven. R.
R/. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels.
He sent them abundance of food.
So he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain his right hand had won. R.
“Put on the new man, created after the likeness of God.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:17.20-24)
Brethren: This I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds. You did not so learn Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off the old man that belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4:4b
Alleluia. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Alleluia.
“He who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 6:24-35)
At that time: When the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat. ”’ Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
Christ, the bread of life.
PRIEST: Jesus Christ is the food for our souls which enables us to live Christian lives. Let us make our prayers to the Lord for all the needs of our world.
READER: FOR THE LEADERS OF THE CHURCH, (pause) that they may continue to teach by example that Christians do not live by bread alone but by the life of Christ within them, through which they value the things of God. (pause) Lord, hear us, we pray; and feed us always we pray Oh Lord.
FOR THOSE WHO WORK IN LABOR RELATIONS, (pause) that they may be attentive to the delicate balance which exists between employer and employee, and may man’s dignity in himself be constantly before their minds. (pause) Lord, hear us, we pray; and feed us always we pray Oh Lord.
FOR THOSE WHOSE FAITH HAS GROWN LUKEWARM, (pause) that they may experience within their souls a hunger for the Lord, and may they come again in love to be fed by the Eucharist. (pause) Lord, hear us, we pray; and feed us always we pray Oh Lord.
FOR A DEEPER APPRECIATION OF THE EUCHARIST IN THE COMMUNITY, (pause) that we may realize that the Eucharist is the center of our lives as Christians, and may we, who share the same table, be one in mind, heart, and spirit. (pause) Lord, hear us, we pray; and feed us always we pray Oh Lord.
We pray in silence for our own intentions to God our Father, who supplies all our needs.
Father, with confidence we have prayed for your help, and we know that once again you will give us what we ask. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” We eat good food to satisfy our physical hunger but the spirit within each of us hungers for truth, righteousness, love, peace and holiness. Our spirit yearns for a deeper union with God. It is a deep inner spiritual hunger which only the bread that Jesus offers can satisfy. This bread is Holy Communion and intimacy with God. We are blessed to share in the bread of angels (Panis Angelicus), which God offers to us. A Ghanaian proverb say, “The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food.” Therefore, only those who enjoy communion with God remain fully satisfied.
Today’s Saint and Quote: St Alphonsus Ligouri – August 1st
-Your God is ever beside you — indeed, He is even within you.
-To sing is to pray twice.
But you, O Lord, are always my shield from danger; you give me victory and restore my courage. I call to the Lord for help, and from is sacred hill answer me. Ps 3:3, 4
-Begin your prayer with song: “who is like unto thee? O Lord (2x) among the gods, who is like thee? Glorious in holiness, and fearful in praises, always doing wonders. Halleluiah”
-Plead for mercy – that God should forgive you in any way you might have wronged Him knowingly and unknowingly.
-By the power of the resurrection, I command all my things that are truly mine to be released and restored, in the name of Jesus Christ
Let Us Pray
Answer me when I pray, O God, my defender! When I was in trouble, you help me. Be kind to me now and hear my prayer. Ps 4:1
Blessing for the New Month
The month of August is here and we are privileged to see it alive and healthy. May the name of the Lord be praised.
I decree and declare that it shall be a month of upliftment for us.
May God’s presence accompany you as he did for Moses and the people of Israel and may the Lord build you up again and watch over you your work, family, business, journey and all you shall do in this month. Amen.