19th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

Published on 02 Aug 2021
A person holding a loaf of bread.

‘I am the bread of life’

Almighty ever-living God,

whom, taught by the Holy Spirit, we dare to call our Father,

bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts

the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters,

that we may merit to enter into the inheritance

which you have promised.

Today’s readings demonstrate how our Father draws us closer to himself, and – through Jesus Christ – nourishes and sustains us with the living bread of the Eucharist.

The prophet Elijah is convinced he’s a failure, and is fleeing for his life into the wilderness. However, an angel of God rouses him from his depression, and comforts and nourishes him for his long journey to the ‘mountain of God’. (First Reading)

In the Gospel, those hostile to Jesus are complaining against him, confused by and misunderstanding his teachings. But Jesus challenges their criticism directly: he is the one who has come to reveal the Father to them. Jesus teaches that he himself is the true, living bread from heaven; bread that gives life for ever.

The Psalmist thanks God for deliverance from trouble, inviting us to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’.

St Paul begs the Ephesian community not to sadden the Holy Spirit by their anti-social behaviour towards each other. Instead they are to follow the path shown by Christ, loving each other as Christ loves them. (Second Reading)

Let us pray this week for an openness to the Lord’s tender, nourishing care, especially when we experience times of alienation, self-doubt or despair. We pray to deepen our acknowledgment of our human vulnerability, and our utter dependence on God’s grace and love.

In the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.    Psalm

Follow Christ by loving as he loved you.    Second Reading

The bread I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world, says the Lord.    Communion Antiphon

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

1 Kings 19: 4–8; Psalm 33 (34); Ephesians 30– 5:2; John: 6: 41–51

To try the reflections in full, download the PDF: