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Scripture of the Week

DAILY SCRIPTURES

Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  

SUNDAY SCRIPTURES

Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here

Sunday, 19 Aug 2018: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

First Reading - Prv 9:1-6

Come and eat my bread; drink the wine I have prepared.

Wisdom has built herself a house,
she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.’

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 33:2-3. 10-15. R. v.9

(R.) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Second Reading - Eph 5:15-20

Be watchful that you may know the will of God.

Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation

Jn 6:56

Alleluia, alleluia!

All who eat my flesh and drink my blood

live in me and I in them, says the Lord.

Alleluia!

Gospel - Jn 6:51-58

My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

Gospel Reflection:

In this week’s gospel passage, we continue our reflection on John 6. John’s gospel was written towards the end of the first century. The Bread of Life discourse probably reflects the interpretation of the gospel writer rather than the actual words of Jesus. This is important for making sense of statements in the discourse that would seem to be out of place from the lips of Jesus during his lifetime. The hearers of these words have lived and worshipped as followers of Jesus for some decades. They have gathered each week for the breaking of the bread and reflected deeply on the mystery of the Word made flesh, the mystery of life in Christ.

If there were eucharistic overtones subtly present in last week’s gospel passage (John 6:41-51), they become quite overt as the Johannine Jesus responds to yet another objection from his opponents in this week’s gospel. Like the Israelites of old in the desert wanderings, these people are more than ready to grumble: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (6:52). Jesus does not really respond to the question “How….?” Rather, he goes on to tell those who want to hear that “life” for them depends on their eating his flesh and drinking his blood. The Johannine Jesus uses the present as well as the future tense. The life they experience in eating his flesh and drinking his blood is a present reality for them as well as a promise of on-going life.  Life for the Israelites was in the blood: blood poured out meant life poured out. Clearly “life” is being used in John 6 for the quality of life the believers have come to experience through their incorporation into the community of the baptised, the sort of life that is not destroyed by death.

Life in the community unites the believers intimately with Jesus as well as with the God of Israel, whom the Johannine Jesus generally calls “Father”. The first reading for today reminds us that other metaphors such as Wisdom were available to those of Jewish heritage for imaging the divine. Wisdom is a female way of imaging the divine. In John’s discourse, Jesus becomes Wisdom extending an invitation to the banquet of life. We keep accepting that invitation. It is well to remember that one never enjoys a banquet alone. It is always shared with others who accept the same invitation. In the strength of the sustenance we receive in this banquet, we are also invited to bring a quality of life to all beings that struggle to exist, the human and the other-than-human. The potential for this is as boundless as the generosity of our God “enfleshed” in Jesus.

   Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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