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SUNDAY’S GOSPEL—August 19, 2018 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SUNDAY’S GOSPEL—August 19, 2018 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time


John 6:51–58

“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” –John 6:52

Every good writer knows that one way to keep your audience involved in your story is to make them feel just a bit more clued in than the characters they’re following. Viewers know, for example, not to open the vampire’s coffin at twilight: it’s too late to drive the stake when he’s about to awaken! We shout at the screen for the heroine not to select a path through that dark alley or for the hero not to turn his back on that half-opened closet door. Making the audience feel wiser than the actors gives us all an edge of superiority—How dumb that person is! How smart I would be in the same situation!

The Gospel writers are good at what they do. They present us with disciples who misunderstand Jesus at every turn. Overhearing their dialogues with their teacher, we realize there really is such a thing as a dumb question. The crowds around Jesus are, if anything, even more clueless. When Jesus calls himself living bread, they gasp, “Does he expect us to be cannibals?” No, fellas. It’s an invitation to shared life.

At what points in the Gospel story do you find yourself saying, “I would do better. I would be more loyal, more helpful—or less dense!”? Consider it an invitation.


Lord, you give us the gift of Eucharist to remind us of the goodness of shared bread and the thirst we all have for justice and peace. Create in us a desire to be generous with those who are in need. Let us serve you in our sisters and brothers, always seeking your face in the faces of the poor. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

While The Gospel at Home takes a break in the summer months, we’ll be drawing our weekly reflections from Exploring the Sunday Readings.


Image credit: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One Response to “SUNDAY’S GOSPEL—August 19, 2018 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time”

  • B Pawlak / Reply

    Nearing the 70 year old mark, and being infused with news of the many sexually corrupt Catholic priests accusations is making me see every priest as a deceitful gay. I still have my personal relationship with God thru constant prayer on my own. The Catholic hierarchy is ruining this religion. Conflicting feelings for sure.

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