WHAT EXACTLY IS Gehenna? Jesus tells us in this Sunday’s Gospel that it is a place where we do not want to go.
If we do not wish to be tone deaf, we must have recourse to Jesus in constant prayer. We need to absorb His words in Sacred Scripture, so that they become our own. We must allow Jesus to speak to our hearts and transform them to see Him in His lowly ones and be their servants. Then we can say to the world, “The Lord upholds my life.”
“WHO DO YOU say that I am?” This question must be answered by every single one of us in our lifetimes and perhaps more than once.
I imagine that must have been the reaction of the Apostles after witnessing the miracle of the deaf and mute man we read in this Sunday’s Gospel. Although Mark relates that Jesus took the man off by himself from the crowd, I am certain that the apostles watched from a distance.
“RELIGION THAT IS pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Why is it so hard for us to accept the teachings of Jesus? In general, it is not easy to accept some new ideas or thoughts, whether they pertain to religious, social or political matters. For instance, the first part of the second reading (Ephesians 5:22-24) is hard for many Christians to accept.
The first and second readings encourage us to turn away from the things that do not nourish and sustain us, and to turn toward the divine source. From the Book of Wisdom we read that Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns. Biblical scholars consider these seven columns as seven sacraments. The invitation to come and eat the food and drink the wine refers to a special banquet, the Holy Eucharist.
IN LAST WEEK’S Gospel, we heard Jesus saying that He was the bread of life. The people with Him at that point most likely had no idea what He was talking about. How could this possibly make sense? The people got confused.
LAST SUNDAY WE meditated on the feeding of a hundred people with 20 barley loaves and the miraculous feeding of 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. This weekend, we also read and meditate upon the same theme of bread. From the first reading we hear about God feeding the people of Israel. God provides for them food by sending manna from heaven. The Gospel passage explains about Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of Life.
If the Eucharist is merely a symbol – a nice thing to show community and unity among people – then we, as Catholics, are wasting our time.