Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The readings for August 23, 2015:

Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18

Psalm 34:15-22

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous. (Ps. 34:15)

Ephesians 6:10-20

John 6:56-69

In some ways, the Gospel readings get more difficult with each passing Sunday this August. They're difficult in part because they seem so repetitive: another week, another set of verses on flesh and bread and feasting on what actually nourishes us. You might find yourself protesting, "O.K., O.K., I get it."

We've spent the last month hearing about the importance of both physical and spiritual nourishment. As school starts, as the political campaign season picks up steam, as we start to think about the hustle and bustle of holidays that will soon be here, it’s good to be reminded of the importance of nourishing both ourselves and others.

Maybe it’s time to recommit to the good nourishment patterns that we know will keep us healthier. There's still time to enjoy summer's pleasures when it comes to the produce stand:  have melons for breakfast and corn on the cob for dinner. Bake a batch of bread or muffins. Watch the bread rise and remind yourself of the larger Christian task of being leaven in the loaf of society.

Think of ways that you can nourish yourself spiritually so that you can be that leaven. Can you add some additional reading to your day? How about some extra prayer time?

You say you have no time? Stop watching the news: a spiritual practice that will benefit in all sorts of ways. Spend as much time in prayer as you do on Facebook. Listen to your favorite spiritual music as you go through the day’s tasks.

Once we've nourished ourselves, maybe we'll be better able to nourish each other. 

The world groans more and more each day. We must fortify ourselves and each other to face the task of repairing the world. Our month of bread readings reminds us of the ways to do that. As delicious as our home-baked loaves of bread are, Jesus reminds us of the source of our true nourishment.

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