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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 16th, 2009

 "He Pleaded With Them"

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Reading 1

Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven columns;
she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,
yes, she has spread her table.
She has sent out her maidens; she calls
from the heights out over the city:
“Let whoever is simple turn in here;
To the one who lacks understanding, she says,
Come, eat of my food,
and drink of the wine I have mixed!
Forsake foolishness that you may live;
advance in the way of understanding.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading II
Eph 5:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Watch carefully how you live,
not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance,
but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Jn 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowds:
“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 Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”



He repeated again and again, “I am the flesh, I am the bread, I am the life. I come from the Father. I have seen the Father. I was sent by the Father,” and so on and on. It seems like a mysterious deep, difficult, and endless discussion. It is the type of discussion we have all experienced, though perhaps at another level, from time to time in our lives

There is your son standing in front of you. He doesn’t smoke cigarettes, but something he calls weed. You talk and talk. You want to make him participate and share in what you know, in what you have experienced, in your wisdom. He remains aloof and unapproachable. He stays unresponsive. And you say, “If only I could creep into your head. If you could only look through y eyes.”

You are standing in front of your daughter, the beautiful one who comes home very late from a dance or party at which there are all kinds of people you do not know, that you have no relations with. You talk and talk. You cry, and you implore. You tap all of your experience, you fall on your knees, and you say, “If I could only let you know what I know. If only I could let you experience what I experienced. If only I could let you feel the bitterness I have felt. If you only could drink the water I drank.”

Or perhaps you are laying next to your spouse. There is a very delicate point. It is very important to you. He does not see, she does not understand, he does not feel. You take her hands, you kiss his eyes. You stroke his back, you put your head in her lap, and you say, “If only I could make you hear with my ears. If only I could make you touch with my hands. If you only could eat the bread I ate. If you only could be my flesh. If only you could have my blood!”

My friends, this is how Jesus talked that afternoon to them. He knew that only his type of life – loving, forgiving, community building, taking children as your first issue, simple, nonviolent, always ready to dialogue, never hardened, God-fearing, and human life respecting – could save this world and humankind from disaster.

He pleaded, “Please, see my point. I do know. Please hear me out, I am sure. Please feel my feeling. I come from on high. Eat my bread, drink my water; eat my flesh, drink my blood.”

He pleaded with them. He pleads with us to change, to see the need of conversion. Conversion isn’t just for those people who are preparing to become part of a church or a faith expression. It’s for all of us. Think about Jesus pleading in his time, but more relevant still, try to understand how he would plead now in this world. We should eat him. W should drink him. We should feel his food and drink – fill us with spiritual life, refreshing us with unlimited enthusiasm to form respect and courtesy for all; to bridge gaps in strained relationships; to foster hope in times of dire need (and is there any more dire need for that in this world, in this country today?); to pray unceasingly for moral judgment; to love without regard to color, race, or creed, or ethic origin, or creed. We should always hunger for his body and blood. For to feed of him is to taste of his gift of eternal bliss in heaven!

It is my wish that this message was meaningful to you. Thank you and have a great week.

© Deacon Steve A. Politte
August 15th, 2009



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