19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 12, 2018
Friar Timothy’s Reflection . . .
My Sisters and Brothers:
Today’s Gospel is a continuation of the “Bread of Life Discourse” found only in the Gospel of St. John (see chapter 6:22-59). Last week we heard part of the discourse in which Jesus proclaimed: “I am the bread of life and whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (see John 6:24-35). In today’s passage we find he then expounded upon this teaching by saying very poignantly: “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” This claim really and very much annoyed some of his listeners, and so their “murmuring,” and their very negative reaction to his claim, are an important element of today’s passage.
The naysayers to Jesus’ claim to be the “bread from heaven” are identified in the Gospel as “the Jews.” But we should recall as we interpret this passage, and others similar, “the Jews” were a very small minority of people within the Jewish community who actually had no faith, and who only really pretended to be following God’s will for their lives. Incredibly, many of the scribes, the Pharisees, and the leaders of the Temple in Jerusalem, were such people (and certainly they “should have known better”). But let’s also recall that Jesus, all of the twelve Apostles, Mary and Joseph, and very many faith-filled people were all in fact Jewish!
According to the passage, the naysayers “murmured about Jesus because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven,’ and they said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” In response, Jesus rebuked them and said: “Stop murmuring among yourselves” (see John 6:42-43). I believe he desired to correct those naysayers because of their lack of faith, but it seems he also wanted to demonstrate the negativity of petty and divisive language meant only to deny reality, to call others into question, and to disrespect the righteous. Unfortunately these were the usual “modi operandi” (i.e., the constant and specific ways or methods of doing things) so pitifully characteristic of those naysayers, those particular scribes, Pharisees, and leaders of the Temple.
The “Bread of Life Discourse” is full of wisdom and insight about who Jesus is. As we continue to contemplate its many messages, let’s be more than grateful we have been blessed with an understanding of Jesus as our “Bread of Life.” Let’s be thankful for the opportunity we have to encounter this Bread, especially in the celebration of this Mass, and in our reception of the Eucharist we are able to share as we gather in this place!
And as we contemplate the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, let’s resolve to have faith rooted deep within our hearts! And may we never, like the naysayers in today’s Gospel, reduce ourselves to “talking about others” in ways that effectively put-them-down, or call into question their integrity, or in any way show them disrespect. Such things are surely not what our loving God wants us to do!
Jesus is “the living bread who came down from heaven, and whoever eats it will live forever, and the bread given is his flesh for the life of the world” (see John 6:51). Let’s not only believe these words, but let’s also receive this bread with devotion and with great faith. And let’s never forget to be Eucharistic people by the way we live our lives in communion with, and in service to others!
Praise God! Friar Timothy
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Wednesday, August 15, a holy day of obligation. Mass will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church, August 15th at 10 a.m. All are invited to attend.
St. JAMES & JOHN SCHOOL
The faculty and staff of Ss. James and John Catholic School invite you to join them for their 2018-2019 School Year Kickoff Celebration held at St. Francis Xavier on Sunday, August 19th from 1-2pm. Come meet the new principal, Dr. Karmen Collins, gain information on open enrollment for Pre-Kindergarten ages 3 & 4 and Kindergarten through 8th grade, and hear about the new ideas to build upon the great history at Ss. James and John Catholic School.
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT
Plans are underway for a Back to School Night at St. Ann’s on Saturday, August 25th. Members of our parish are gathering items to be placed in back packs to be distributed. You may bring your donated school supplies and place them in the back of the church or drop them off at the rectory. If you are interested in volunteering to help out for this event please contact the church office (410-235-8169).
ECUMENICAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
“Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman of God.” Saturday, September 15, 2018 9: am – 3:00 pm; Waldorf, MD. Tickets are $50 and include Breakfast, Catered Hot Lunch T-Shirt and Bus Transportation. Buses leave from St. Ann’s Church. For information and details see Eloise Jackson.
SIGHT AND SOUND TRIP – ‘JESUS’
Just a reminder, if you signed up for the Sight and Sound bus trip to see ‘Jesus’ on November 28th your nonrefundable deposit of $30 and 3rd scheduled payment of $20 is due on August 19. You may give your payment to Cynthia Johnson, Marlene Howard, and Mary Middleton or turn it into the church office. Flyers with details are located in back of church.
NEW AND RETURNING MEMBERS
Beginning this fall we begin start a new season in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a process of instruction and formation for those from age 12 and above who were:
- Never baptized
- Baptized in a different Christian church
- Baptized Catholic but not raised in the church
- Once active in the church but have become inactive.
The process begins with an inquiry stage where we meet those who have interest and help them chart a course to where the Lord may be leading. Take this time to reach out to family members and friends who may benefit from this experience. For more information contact the parish office (410-235-8169) so that we can get you in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable catechists.
Sun., Aug.12 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time 11 AM Mass
Wed., Aug.15 Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Thurs., Aug.16 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
Sun., Aug.19 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time 11 AM Mass
Thurs., Aug.23 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
Sat., Aug.25 Back To School Night Anchorage, 6:00 pm
Sun., Aug.26 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time 11 AM Mass
Tues., Aug.28 Monthly Food Pantry Anchorage, 10 am – 12 pm
Thurs., Aug.30 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
Sat., Sept. 1 KPC – Ladies Auxiliary Meet Anchorage, 9 am
Sun., Sept.2 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 11 AM Mass
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
1st Reading Proverbs 9:1-6
2nd Reading Ephesians 5:15-20
Gospel John 6:51-58
Please also continue to pray for all of our sick and homebound, especially Florence Barber, Dorothy Horton-Brown, James Butts, Augustine Christian, Danny Dallas, Elaine Edmonds, Gregory Epps, John Frederick, Pat Haley, Rita Hardy, Odessa Johnson, Tom Lutz, Penny Palmer, Bernadette Wallace, Nelson Outlaw, and Rita Watkins, and ask that God grant them strength, comfort and healing.