Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Joshua, chapter twenty-four, verses one, two(a), fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, & eighteen(b);
Psalm Thirty-four, verses two & three, sixteen & seventeen, eighteen & nineteen, & twenty & twenty-one;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter five, verses twenty-one thru thirty-two
(or, the Letter to the Ephesians, chapter five, verses two(a) & twenty-five thru thirty-two);
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses six thru sixty-nine.
Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, we come today to the end of the extraordinary sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Before this, Jesus told his listeners, "Unless you gnaw on the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." Well, today, we have the denouement of the story.Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
We hear that "many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?’" Notice that we are talking about Jesus’ followers. And yet they find this teaching impossible to take.
If his words were meant in a symbolic sense, they wouldn’t have had this shocking effect. If what he meant was simply, This bread is a symbol of my body, why would there be such a strong reaction? I mean, the Jewish Scriptures deal in poetic metaphor all the time. The point is that they had understood him in this context only too well.
Given every opportunity to explain himself better, Jesus does nothing of the kind. Instead, he upbraids them for their lack of faith. This is why the Catholic tradition has insisted, against all attempts to soften these words of Jesus, that he should be taken straightforwardly.
Video reflection by Father Claude Burns (uCatholic): Weekend Reflection with Father Pontifex.
Video reflection by Father John Tata (Sancta Familia Media): Sunday Byte with Father John Tata.
Audio reflection by Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology): Breaking the Bread.
Mass Journal: Week Thirty-five
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
The saints were remarkable men & women, but surprisingly what mae them remarkable was rarely anything too spectacular. What made them extraordinary was the ordinary. They strove to grow in virtue through the ordinary things of everyday life. If they were caring for the sick they were growing in humility. When they were educating children they were growing in patience. As Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said, "Do the little things with great love."†
There is nothing more attractive than holiness. Throughout history, whenever men & women of holiness have lived, the Church has blossomed. This is the answer to all of our questions & the solution to all of our problems: holiness of life. What are you willing to live for? Just before her death [Saint] Joan of Arc wrote, "I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, & yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, & we live it as we believe in living it & then it's gone. But to surrender what you are & to live without belief is more terrible than dying—even more terrible that dying young." What are you willing to give your life for?
Otherwise, 26 August would be the festival of Our Lady of Częstochowa (A.K.A. the Black Madonna of Częstochowa; canonically crowned 1717, 1910, & 2005): Madonna-link & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: Wayback Machine.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Alexander of Bergamo, Martyr (died circa 303), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Bregowine of Canterbury, Bishop (died 764, also spelt Bregwin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, Virgin, O.C.D. (1846-1878, A.K.A. Mariam Baouardy), stigmatic: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Stigmata-link & Wikipedia-link Stigmata.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Religious, H.A.D. (1843-1897, A.K.A. Teresa Jornet Ibars), foundress of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link H.A.D.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Hope, which is the gaze of the Church turned toward the future, fills her heart, & tells us how it is throbbing in new & loving expectation. The Church is not old, she is ancient. Time does not subdue her; it rejuvenates her."Little Flower Quote o' the Day
—Pope Bl. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 26 September)
"God's love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul."Saint Quote o' the Day
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
"True love hurts. It always must hurt. It has to be painful to love someone; painful to leave him, you would like to die for him. When people marry, they have to give up everything in order to love each other. A mother who gives life to a child suffers much. The word 'love' is misunderstood & misused so much."
—St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa, 1910-1997, feast day: 5 September)