Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Ex 16:2-4, 12-15 / Ps 78 / Eph 4:17, 20-24 / Jn 6:24-35
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
When I went home to the Philippines for my yearly visit, I was pleased to learn that there are now two priests in our town’s parish church. This meant that my help would not be needed as it usually was during my vacation, and I could just attend Mass and spend more time with my Mom. But then, Fr. Romy, the Parochial Vicar, told me that the Pastor was away, so they still need me. And so I did help out.
Last night when I got back here in Bedford, I received a text message from the Philippines telling me that Father Romy had died in his sleep. Although this news made me sad, I wasn’t worried at all. Fr Romy, just like any priest, prays before he sleeps for a “restful night and a peaceful death.” He surely was ready to be born into life eternal.
In the course of our conversation while I was there, he told me that he had been in the priesthood for more than forty years, and he enjoyed every minute of his ministry. He thoroughly enjoyed preaching God’s words and ministering to God’s flock. Yes, he admitted that he also had his share of life’s challenges and difficulties, but his faith and hope in the Lord Jesus make him see trials in their proper perspective.
Today’s readings remind us that Jesus, the Bread of Life, is our hope.
We must constantly remind ourselves that we are not just a group of people who have faith in God and who try to always love God and our neighbor. We are also a group of people who always have hope.
Today’s second reading, which is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy, reinforces this message when it says: “I, Paul, an Apostle, by the command of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, our Hope.”