Readings for Sunday, August 1, 2021 - Year/Sena BEighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 113
It-Tmintax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena
GETTING OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD REGULARLY
Reading 1 Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!” Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.” In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?” for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, “This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”
QARI 1 mill-Ktieb tal-Eżodu 16:2-4,12-15
F’dak iż-żmien, fid-deżert, il-ġemgħa kollha ta’ wlied Iżrael bdew igergru kontra Mosè u Aron. Ulied Iżrael qalulhom: “Mhux li mitna b’id il-Mulej fl-art tal-Eġittu, meta konna ħdejn il-borom tal-laħam u konna nieklu ħobż bix-xaba’! Ħriġtuna f’dan id-deżert biex toqtlu bil-ġuħ din il-ġemgħa kollha!”. Il-Mulej imbagħad qal lil Mosè: “Ara, se nibagħtilkom xita ta’ ħobż mis-sema. Il-poplu kollu joħroġ u jiġbor minn jum għal ieħor kemm ikun jenħtieġ għall-ġurnata, biex hekk inġarrabhom u nara jimxux mal-liġi tiegħi jew le. Jien smajt it-tgergir ta’ wlied Iżrael. Kellimhom u għidilhom: ‘Filgħaxija tieklu l-laħam u filgħodu tixbgħu bil-ħobż. U tkunu tafu li jiena l-Mulej, Alla tagħkom’”. U ġara li filgħaxija dehret qatgħa summien tittajjar fl-għoli u għattiet it-tined kollha, u filgħodu kien hemm wiċċ nida madwar it-tined. Meta din in-nida għabet, fuq wiċċ id-deżert kien hemm xi ħaġa rqiqa qisha ġlata fuq l-art. Malli wlied Iżrael raw dan, bdew jgħidu wieħed lil ieħor: “Man-hu?” – għax ma għarfux x’inhu. Mosè qalilhom: “Dan hu l-ikel li l-Mulej takom biex tieklu”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Responsorial Psalm PSALM 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
And the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
SALM RESPONSORJALI SALM 77(78):3,4bċ,23-24,25,54
R/. (24b): Il-Mulej tahom il-qamħ mis-sema.
Dak li smajna u tgħallimna,
dak li qalulna missirijietna,
inxandruh lin-nisel ta’ warajhom:
tifħir il-Mulej u l-qawwa tiegħu,
u l-għeġubijiet li għamel. R/.
Imma hu ordna s-sħab fl-għoli,
u fetaħ bwieb is-smewwiet;
u xita ta’ manna bagħtilhom x’jieklu,
tahom il-qamħ mis-sema. R/.
Kull wieħed kiel il-ħobż tal-qalbenin,
ikel bix-xaba’ bagħtilhom.
U daħħalhom fl-art imqaddsa tiegħu,
fuq l-għolja li kisbet il-leminija tiegħu. R/.
Reading 2 EPHESIANS 4:17, 20-24
Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.
QARI 2 mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 4:17,20-24
Ħut, jiena dan ngħidilkom u nwissikom quddiem il-Mulej: li ma ġġibux iżjed ruħkom skont ma jġibu ruħhom il-pagani bil-bluha ta’ moħħhom. Imma intom mhux hekk tgħallimtu ’l Kristu – jekk intom smajtuh u tgħallimtuh skont il-verità li hi f’Ġesù – jiġifieri, li għandkom twarrbu l-ħajja tagħkom ta’ qabel u tinżgħu l-bniedem il-qadim, imħassar bix-xewqat tal-pjaċiri qarrieqa, u li għandkom tiġġeddu b’tibdila spiritwali tal-fehma tagħkom u tilbsu l-bniedem il-ġdid, maħluq skont Alla, fil-ġustizzja u l-qdusija tassew. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Gospel JOHN 6:24-35
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave 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.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
EVANĠELJU Qari skont San Ġwann 6:24-35
F’dak iż-żmien, in-nies meta ntebħu li fuq id-dgħajsa la kien hemm Ġesù u lanqas id-dixxipli tiegħu, telgħu fuq id-dgħajjes u marru lejn Kafarnahum ifittxu lil Ġesù. U meta sabuh in-naħa l-oħra tal-baħar staqsewh: “Rabbi, meta ġejt hawn?”. Ġesù weġibhom: “Tassew tassew ngħidilkom, intom qegħdin tfittxuni mhux għax rajtu sinjali, imma għax kiltu mill-ħobż u xbajtu. Tħabtu mhux għall-ikel li jgħaddi, iżda għall-ikel li jibqa’ għall-ħajja ta’ dejjem, dak li Bin il-bniedem jagħtikom, għaliex lilu Alla l-Missier immarka bis-siġill tiegħu”. Imbagħad staqsewh: “X’għandna nagħmlu biex nagħmlu l-opri ta’ Alla?”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “L-opra ta’ Alla hija din: li intom temmnu f’dak li huwa bagħat”. Qalulu: “X’sinjal se tagħmel biex aħna narawh u nemmnuk? X’sejjer tagħmel? Missirijietna kielu l-manna fid-deżert, bħalma hemm miktub: ‘Tahom jieklu ħobż mis-sema’”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “Tassew tassew ngħidilkom, mhux Mosè takom il-ħobż mis-sema, iżda Missieri jagħtikom il-ħobż tassew mis-sema; għaliex il-ħobż ta’ Alla huwa dak li jinżel mis-sema u jagħti l-ħajja lid-dinja”. Qalulu huma: “Sinjur, agħtina dejjem minn dan il-ħobż”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “Jiena hu l-ħobż tal-ħajja. Min jiġi għandi ma jieħdu qatt il-ġuħ, u min jemmen fija ma jkun qatt bil-għatx!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Eight-minute Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil
Sunday’s readings challenge us to be more concerned with spiritual food than with physical food and to get our spiritual food regularly from the word of God and from the Holy Eucharist – the Heavenly Bread — because only God can satisfy the various forms of our spiritual hunger.
The first reading shows us how God satisfied the physical hunger of His chosen people in the desert by giving them manna and quail. The restrictions imposed by God for the collecting of manna remind us to acknowledge humbly our total dependence on God and to trust that He will always provide for what we need.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 78) refers to manna as “Heavenly bread” and the “bread of angels” which God provided for Israel and provides for us today. In the second reading, St. Paul advises the Ephesians to satisfy their spiritual hunger by turning away from their former evil ways and by leading renewed lives of love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Paul reminds us that our acceptance of Jesus as the real source of our life and the nourishment of our souls, produces a total transformation in us. Having been nourished by the Bread from Heaven and the word of God, we need to bear witness to Christ by living lives renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Today’s Gospel passage is taken from the “Bread of Life Discourse” in John’s Gospel. Here, Jesus makes the unique and bold claim: “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.” Jesus is offering the crowd Bread from Heaven, Bread that nourishes them for eternal life, the Bread available to people who have Faith in Jesus Christ — the presence and indwelling of God in their hearts.
When Jesus instructed those who had sought after him for earthly food that they should be fed by the Bread that Jesus would give them, some accepted this teaching. But others turned away disappointed, because Jesus’ challenge required a commitment that they were unwilling to make.
1) We receive the spiritual nourishment we need from the word of God and from the Holy Eucharist: In the Holy Mass, the Church offers us two types of bread: a) the Bread of Life, contained in God’s Word and b) the Bread of Life, contained in the Holy Eucharist. Let us nourish our souls with this Heavenly Manna and carry Jesus to our homes and workplaces, radiating Jesus’ love, mercy and compassion all around us. But we should not take for granted the Divine generosity, that so readily provides these gifts gratuitously, by sharing in the Bread of Life simply as a matter of habit, without repenting of our sins or showing due attention and proper respect.
2) We need to gain the benefits of our Holy Communion with Jesus. Our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion acts spiritually as Food to nourish the spirit, as, similarly, bread and wine act materially for our body. Unconsecrated bread and wine, i.e., material food,
(a), is assimilated by our bodies into our substance;
(b), maintains physical life, promoting physical growth;
(c), dispels fatigue and weakness from, and imparts strength to, the body;
(d), affords a certain satisfaction by pleasing the palate; and
(e), influences the mind and spirit by the medium of the body.
In a similar way, the action of Jesus on our soul in Holy Communion may be described, as
(i), uniting us most closely to Himself: Our Lord says: “He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, abides in Me, and I in him” (Jn 6:57);
(ii), uniting each of us individually to each individual member of the human race by joining us to Himself;
(iii), imparting actual graces, including strength, the power to withstand temptation, and the desire to practice virtue, while maintaining, deepening, and increasing Sanctifying Grace in the soul;
(iv), lessening force of concupiscence of the eyes, concupiscence of the flesh and the pride of life , and freeing us from repented venial sin; as a result , one who communicates frequently will feel less sharply the stimulus of anger, envy, uncleanness, and other evil propensities;
(v), often affording much refreshment to the soul;
(vi), sanctifying the body, and implanting in it the germ of a future glorious resurrection; and
(vii), cancelling the temporal penalties of sin according to the measure of our devotion.