Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – John 6:1-15
1. At the heart of this story we are told that Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed them. In our day this reminds us of the Eucharist, the bread of life, with which Jesus feeds us. Can you recall an experience of Eucharist that was especially significant for you? What was it that made it different? How did it influence your understanding of the Eucharist?
2. Take, give thanks, distribute. The actions of Jesus also suggest an attitude to time, gifts and living. We take what we are given, give thanks, and use what we have. Have you found that having a grateful heart for what you have been given has made it easier for you to share with others?
3. From what seemed meagre and inadequate resources many were fed. When have you found that when you gratefully use what little resources you have the results are beyond your expectations?
4. Jesus chose to involve those around him in feeding the people. Have there been times when you have experienced benefits from calling on those around you to use their gifts to help with a task? 
– John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
We meet Jesus today in a situation of need. The crowds have followed him and they are hungry. Jesus challenges his disciples to provide a meal for them. When they object that they don’t have enough money, and only a tiny amount of food, Jesus uses what they have to pull off a remarkable feat (and feast).
For us, this Gospel might bring to mind the situation of migrants and asylum-seekers who experience hunger and hardship today. We are left in no doubt about our obligation to protect and care for those in need, just as Jesus provided for the hungry crowds. This feeding account also has the elements of a Eucharistic meal, with Jesus taking the food, giving thanks, and distributing it to everyone. Jesus doesn’t produce this meal from nothing, but transforms what the disciples provide into a blessing for many.
Sharing in Eucharist means sharing our resources. It means ensuring people are not left to fend for themselves in crisis situations. When we receive the body of Jesus, it is a gift of love. But if we do not give and love in return, we are wasting the gift. Where people are in need, it is our responsibility, as followers of Jesus, to share and to provide. God will provide beyond our imagining, no matter how little we think we have to give, but we are invited to take the first step.
‘If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world... We cannot properly receive the Bread of Life unless at the same time we give the bread of life to those in need wherever and whomever they may be.’ (Pedro Arrupe SJ)  – Tríona Doherty

(from Intercom)

 

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.Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running until 8 December 2021.

Prayer to St Joseph
.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
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