Reflection on the Daily Readings for 8/16/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Proverbs 9:1-6. Psalm 34:2-3,10-11,12-13, 14-15.  Ephesians
5:15-20. John 6:51-58. Lectionary  #

Wisdom, understanding, Spirit, and Bread of Life are our nourishment on
this Sunday.  The readings mutually enhance each other and spring back and
forth with these themes uniting our celebration of the Word of God in the
Scriptures.  The Eucharist is our way of fulfilling what they say about
Jesus as the Bread of Life and our Communion is a particpation in the very
life of the Word made flesh in the Person of Jesus, the Son of Mary. We are
nourished each Sunday by both word and sacrament and we recall the saving
events of Jesus' Passion, Death, and Resurrection in the Mass.

Wisdom breaks forth in clarity in the first reading from Proverbs, one of
the great Wisdom books of the first testament (the Old Testament).  It sets
the stage for the themes mentioned above and helps us to unite them in our
pondering over the readings while listening to them.  The Psalm follows up
on the first reading with the true practical dimension of wisdom: "those
who seek the Lord lack no good thing."

Ephesians continues the wisdom lesson by telling us to be watchfull about
our behavior patterns and our conduct. We do this with the help of the Holy
Spirit who gives us the gift of Wisdom in its fullness.  This is shown by
our prayer, our psalm singing, and our hymns offered to God throughout the
day. We learn how to do the will of God through our prayer and through the
Scriptures which are filled with wisdom.

Jesus in the Gospel caps of the other readings with his discourse on the
Eucharist that is coming to an end. Jesus declares himself to be the real
bread of life that has come down from heaven.  We are to partake of his
self-giving through the sacrament of the Eucharist, our perfect act of
thanksgiving.  Jesus solemnly assures us that we will enjoy eternal life if
we see that he is our real food and drink through the sacrament of the
Eucharist.  He has nourished us throughout chapter six with his teaching
about himself as the Bread of Life. In Communion we are united to him and
are led to experience his wisdom.  We sing as St. Paul encourages us to do:
Jesus is the bread of life; those who come to him shall not hunger, those
who believe in him shall not thrist and even if they die, they shall live
forever." Amen.