Saturday, August 11, 2012

John 6:41-51 Jesus is the Bread of Life

The Jews 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?'"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

In this passage, Jesus establishes the sacrament of the Eucharist by saying: "I am the bread of life."  This text has been used to explain the sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus is the very bead we consume in the mass because Jesus is the primordial sacrament. He is the bread, God's grace made visible in his very person. When we eat the bread, we are participating in the sacrament, remember Jesus' death on the cross, and the incarnation of God to save us from our sins. Jesus is the bread of life. He nourishes us, sustains us, and brings us in communion with God.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mark 9:2-10 Transfiguration of the Lord

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John,
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

In this passage we get a glimpse of Christ' true nature. He is both fully human and fully divine. He is both a servant of God and a member of the Trinity. Jesus is a prophet, a teacher, a sage, a preacher, and the Son of God. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Matthew 13:54-58 Jesus' Brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son'
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas'
Are not his sisters all with us'
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

In this passage, we see that Jesus is identified as being the carpenter's son (referring to Joseph),  son of Mary,  and brother of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. So the question is are these people his biological brothers or are they extended family like cousins? For some scholars the answer is simple, they are his biological brothers. Their position is that Mary was a virgin prior to Jesus' birth and then after his birth she gave birth to his brothers and sisters. Other scholars believe that Mary was always a virgin and the term brother refers to cousin.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Matthew 13:47-53 The Kingdom of God is like a Net

Jesus said to the disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
"Do you understand all these things?"
They answered, "Yes."
And he replied,
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old."
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

In this passage Jesus makes it clear that the Kingdom of God will sort those who are good from those who are bad. What this means is the Kingdom of God is the true actualization of Justice, the virtue where one receives their due. This is why we must live righteous lives. We must live for the Kingdom and proclaim the good news of Jesus to all the nations. We are called to love.