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08/12/18 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 116

  • From today’s Gospel: “I Am the living bread that came down from heaven;
    whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world
    .”
  • The bread of life is love... Because as St. John declared: God is love
  • Only love can give and sustain life... Not hatred, or envy, or anger...
  • This is the message Jesus coveys throughout the Gospels, yet how often do we refuse to take it to heart...
  • The hate and anger that we witness today in our country and around the world are life draining and ultimately life ending...
  • Some may ask: Where is God in all of the malaise and chaos?
  • The answer is: God is everywhere because God lives in each of us...
  • We each have the gift of free will which means that we each have choices to make… and those choices ultimately determine not only our future but the future of the world in which we live
  • If we desire peace, civility, compassion and mercy we must strive to become God’s instruments in the world by allowing God to work through us...
  • We do this through prayer, meditation, and by making our best effort each day to imitate Jesus in our lives…
  • By choosing how we will live our lives
  • By choosing to respond rather than to react to the world around us.…
  • By choosing to put our own agendas in the background in favor of the needs of others...
  • By making conscious and informed choices
  • By acting justly in all of our affairs...
  • We do this  most importantly by choosing to follow our consciences...
  • When we make our best attempts to do these things we become the Bread of Life for the world... and we become the antidote to hate, and incivility, and unforgiveness...
  • Morality matters... without a moral compass to guide us... we’re left rudderless in a sea of opinions often based on self interest and greed...
  • Ethics and laws are guides... but are no substitute for a strong moral compass that’s there to help us steer past the pitfalls of difficult life issues...
  • Truth, honor, dignity and character are the fruits of a solid moral compass... without which we’re at the mercy of a world that has the power to destroy us
  • God did not make this an “us and them” world... We did
  • And we’ve been given the power to change it one person at a time – By living the Gospel more fully in our daily lives… 
  • Only the Living Bread come down from heaven can save us…
  • The Living Bread of love that lives in our hearts waiting to be released with every act of kindness, and forgiveness, and mercy that we can muster...
  • We’re not going to walk the perfect walk everyday… Nor are we expected to
  • Jesus walked in our shoes and knows our weaknesses better than we do…
  • Jesus sees the good in us that we’re often unable to see ourselves…
  • Because Jesus sees past the mistakes, and missteps, and the falls to who we truly are deep insideGod’s Beloved
  • Julian of Norwich observed: “For we are so preciously loved by God that we cannot even comprehend it.  No created being can ever know how much and how sweetly and tenderly God loves them.”
  • It’s our lifelong mission to discover that truth deep inside each of us
  • We each have a role in God’s plan of salvation whether we realize it or not…
  • The question we must all ask ourselves is: Are we truly living the role through the choices that we make each day, or are we merely playing the role…
  • The message of God’s deep love for each of us must be the preeminent message of the Christian faith...
  • God is everywhere in all of Creation… Yet it’s often hard to appreciate His presence among us, amidst the busyness and sheer insanity that the modern world can thrust upon us…
  • It’s up to us to make the time to regain our perspective…
  • It’s up to us to slow down long enough to regularly evaluate where we’ve been and where we’re going in life
  • Father Henri Nouwen wrote: “…just living life is not enough.  We must know what we are living.  A life that is not reflected upon isn’t worth living.  It belongs to the essence of being human that we contemplate our life, think about it, discuss it, evaluate it, and form opinions about itHalf of living is reflecting upon what is being lived.” (Can you Drink the Cup; Pg. 29).
  • In this self-reflection – May we find our way toward becoming Living Bread for the world
  • The Bread that heals divisions
  • The Bread that shows mercy and forgiveness
  • The Bread of understanding and compassion
  • The Bread of civility and respect for all of God’s Creation
  • The Bread that welcomes the stranger and feeds the hungry
  • The Bread that clothes the naked
  • The Bread that puts the needs of others ahead of our own

 

  • The Bread of life that is love

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