20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 16, 2015 – Year B
Readings: Prv 9:1-6 / Psalm 34 / Eph 5:15-20 / Jn 6:51-58
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A story is told about a man who was desperately late for an important appointment as he drove into an underground parking garage. He jumped out of the car and opened the back door to get his briefcase. Just then, an attendant came up and explained to him that the garage was a ‘self-park garage’ and he would have to park his car himself. Since he was in such a hurry, he quickly jumped back into the car and rolled down the window and said, “Okay, okay, which way do I go?” The attendant leaned into the window and replied, “Up the ramp and to your right, sir; but first you’ll have to get into the front seat of your car.”
In one way or another we all experience life in the fast lane. When we are in a hurry, we have the tendency forget to use the gift of wisdom we all received in the Sacrament of Baptism. In today’s second reading, which is taken from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the Apostle said, “Watch carefully how you live; not has foolish persons but as wise.” The first reading, which is taken from the Book of Proverbs, has practically the same message. And Wisdom is as simple as knowing, understanding and doing what is right and important in God’s eyes.
Everyone wants to live in peace and serenity, and wants a healthy body in order to live to be a centenarian. The good news is that our Lord and God ,who is the Author and Source of life, is offering this kind of life and more for all His children. Jesus says, “I come that you may have life and have it in all its fullness”.
Every time I stop by a particular gas station convenience store, I notice the little bottles of energy drink on the counter. As the name suggests, this drink is supposed to give us 5 hours of energy. I actually used to drink these when I drove to New York to visit relatives until the parish nurse gave me a 3-page printout that showed me all the side effects of these drinks. Now I just stop and take a nap on long trips. Today there are plenty of these energy products on the market – from power bars to energy drinks – that promise to give us hours, even days of energy. Billions of dollars have been spent in search of the Fountain of Youth so that people can live 100 years or more in this world.
In spite of these scientific efforts, we are all aware that life as we know it will end. At the same time, we are also aware of the fact and have faith that we will continue to live even after we pass through the door that we call Death. The Lord Jesus gives us food that will provide us energy not just for hours, days, weeks or even months, but for life that will never end.
That is the reason why we are all here in the sanctuary of Holy Name of Mary at this very moment. We are here not only to gain wisdom and enlightenment from God’s living words, but also to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. A few minutes from now when we receive Holy Communion, let us remember Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel: “I am the living Bread. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”