"Every perfect gift is from above,” the Letter of James says.
The Inner Word
Some of the disciples are so turned off by the Lord’s teaching on the bread of life that they leave him and return to their former way of life.
"The Almighty has done great things for me . . ." proclaims Mary. Can I list two "great things" God has done for me? How about two more? Make them specific.
The Judeans can’t see how Jesus could be “the bread that came down from heaven” since they know where he came from. In the same way, some Catholics have a hard time with the church’s teaching about war, the death penalty, and justice for immigrants.
Manna from heaven is what we’re all waiting for. But we keep looking up to the sky to find it, instead of in the Body of Christ, namely our sisters and brothers.
The message that comes across loud and clear in today’s readings is that God satisfies our hungers.
"Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture”—those are words that pastors dread to hear. Yet to ones who are part of the flock, they come as a welcomed warning.
Amos denies his critic’s claim that he is a professional prophet; he insists he was unexpectedly called by God, just as the 12 apostles were and just as each of us is, so that, in the words of Saint Paul, “we might exist for the praise of God’s glory.”
Prophets don’t have an easy job of it no matter where they’re trying to speak truth to power, but there’s no question that the home front is their toughest audience, as Jesus found out when he returned to Nazareth.
Jesus goes beyond the customs and religious sensibilities of his people. He reacts favorably to a forbidden touch and challenges death to give back a life.