Twentieth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Aug 21, 2018



19 August 2018


It was the first words of the gospel which struck me last weekend.

Does anyone remember what those words were?

The crowds began to complain about Jesus–“murmuring” was what we got in our translation.

They began to talk under their breaths.

“This guy is a nut.”

Mostly, at this point in John’s Gospel the crowds become very disappointed in him.

They had such

great hopes for him, and he tells them goofy things.

He tells them they are to “feed on him,” in today’s gospel.

This really bothered the crowds.

They couldn’t figure out how his flesh was real food, his blood, real drink.

I think we have the same problem.

We want to know “how;” we want to know the physics of it.

I don’t think there is an answer we can find in physics.

The answer we’re looking for isn’t found in physics, it’s found in metaphysics:

the reality beyond what we can see, or pound our fist on,

the reality we only get hints of, brief glimpses of in our lives,

when we realize we are more than our bodies and yet cannot be without our bodies.

During one of his last days in rehab at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester,

Mike made butterscotch pudding.

He made it not because he liked it, he can’t stand it.

He made it because I like it and I was visiting that day.

He gave me two large Styrofoam cups of it as I left him that day.

I could tell the struggle it took him to make it.

I could see the large lumps of pudding mix still undissolved.

“The significance of that pudding however was sweeter than it’s taste.

It touched me deeply because I knew the whole story behind it–the story of sacrifice and love.

The eucharistic bread we share here is not as tasty as what we can buy at Panera.

The taste doesn’t matter.

It’s the story behind the food that makes all the difference.”

This side of death we may never understand the physics of the bread and wine we share here.

Yet, Jesus says it’s the kind of nourishment we really need, the kind that gives us true life.

What we can understand, is the story behind the food,

The story of deepest sacrifice and faithful love.

These two things, sacrifice and love, aren’t these what we need to really live?