20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (16th August)

A thought from reflecting on Jn 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowd: “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world”.Eucharist

I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of attending Mass in a nursing home. Well I have and the majority of those present suffer from Alzheimers and various forms of Dementia. But during this time I am always struck at the sacredness of the moment when the Eucharist is distributed. These residents receive this ‘living bread’ with such conviction. This is shown in their reverence and delight to being nourished by receiving the Eucharist. This is their connection to the Source of all life and a sign of hope for eternal life. Jesus too in addressing the crowds in this scene is reminding them to stay ‘connected’ to the Source that gives life. For those attending Mass in the nursing home they are people who remain in Christ. This they do through their suffering, remaining in Christ, the living bread and being nourished in the knowledge that this is where the crucified Christ is, there with them in the struggles that this illness inflicts on them on a daily basis.

Edel Murphy O.P

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