August 13, 2006

The liturgy of the Church acclaims John 6 (the "Eucharistic Chapter") as the heart of the entire Bible.

The thirty-four "ordinary" Sundays of the Church year have a repeating three-year calendar cycle of readings: Year A, Year B and Year C.

The three-year cycle allows the Church to read through nearly the entire Bible at Sunday Mass.

We are presently in the middle of Year B, during which we read through the Gospel of Mark more or less from beginning to end.

However, on the seventeenth ordinary Sunday of Year B (that is, exactly halfway through the thirty-four ordinary Sundays), the Church interrupts her reading of the Gospel of Mark, and she inserts the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, dividing that chapter into five consecutive sections.

We begin reading John 6 on the seventeenth Sunday, and we finish reading it on the twenty-first Sunday; then we return to the Gospel of Mark.

That interruption puts John 6 in the middle of our three-year course through the Bible.

Because of this fact, we can say that the liturgy of the Church celebrates John 6 (the "Eucharistic Chapter") as the center of the entire Bible.

I have posted a homily on John 6:41-51 (which is the section for today, the nineteenth ordinary Sunday of year B).

The homily underscores how Jesus presents his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood as the "bottom line" or the "be all and end all" of faith for those who authentically believe in him.
Click HERE for it.


Blogger Angela Messenger said...


9:41 PM  
Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

Nice laconic homily.

I can imagine some adolescent saying " I love Father S.'s homilies; they don't last forever!"

10:55 PM  
Blogger dilexitprior said...

I didn't know it was possible to give a homily on this particular reading without speaking of the Eucharist, but apparently the priest who happened to be saying Mass where I attended thought it was. Our homily was on "Christian Simplicity," not the Eucharist.

11:05 PM  

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