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Thursday, 22 July 2021 23:36

Celebrating At Home - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are fed that we might feed

Unusually, our reading of St Mark’s Gospel will be interrupted for the next five weeks during which we will read the ‘Bread of Life’ passages from Chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel. These passages form a kind of meditation about who Jesus is and what is happening when we gather for Eucharist - we are being nourished by Jesus in Word and Sacrament, and we are being sent to feed and nourish one another.

In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus fed the crowd, hungering for the Word of God, with his teaching. This week, Jesus also feeds the crowd with bread and fish. Once again, Jesus is deeply conscious of the human needs of others. Despite there being

so many, not only are all fed, but there is food left over. In the story there is a sense of super- abundance.

When God answers needs and provides for people there is never just enough; there is always more than enough.

Seeing what Jesus had done, the people think they know who Jesus is (“the prophet who is to come into the world”) and what his role should be (a king who will provide anything they want). But they have the wrong idea about Jesus’ kingship. He isn’t a national liberator, a political leader or a magician. So Jesus escapes into the hills by himself.

In next Sunday’s Gospel Jesus will explain what this sign of feeding the multitude is really about.

As we begin this meditation on Jesus, the Bread of Life, our thoughts also turn to how we can be living bread for each other; how we can feed and

nourish with the kinds of bread that do not perish: truth, justice, love, kindness, compassion, honesty, integrity, faith, hope and forgiveness.

What words can we speak, what actions can we do that not only feed bodies, but which also feed hearts hungry for comfort, hope, forgiveness,

justice, mercy, acceptance and love? How can we be the ‘bread of God’ in our world today?

The ‘food’ is entrusted to us. We are fed that we might feed one another.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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