18th Sunday in Ordinary Time 1 August 2021 - Dcn Jim Curtain

What do we want from Jesus?

Is it simply a free feed, or to see a special effects show?

Is it to be part of a mob, a crowd, where we tell each other how great we are?


That was the challenge Jesus put to the crowd in this gospel.

What do you really want out of me?


They’d had a free feed, they’d seen some miracles, they were following him like a cheer squad, or a bunch of groupies after a celebrity.


Jesus wanted to invite them to live life to the full. Jesus was inviting them to share in his life, to share in the divine life he and the Father shared in the Spirit.


They were stuck in the same place as the Chosen people in the desert, wanting God to look after their physical needs.


However Jesus is inviting them to new life, Paul in today’s reading calls it a spiritual revolution, and as he points out, many people find that challenging.


That new life includes a knowledge that God loves us, loves his creation, and desperately desires that us, indeed that all creation, shares in God’s own life. That all women and men are living the kingdom of God which is within them, that heaven and earth share in God’s life.


This is a big statement, a big challenge. It is easier to be content with getting a free feed, and running around after a celebrity. We are called to something far greater than that.


This is one reason why our worship together is vital, particularly the Mass.


At Mass we are invited to directly participate in God’s life. It is very good that we do it as a community, but that community is much, much more than just the men and women gathered together here and now. When we participate in the Mass and receive the bread of life which is the Eucharist God is truly present. Indeed, God is present in us. This is why we have the formality and ritual, robes and genuflections, bells, candles and music. They are there to remind us that we are not just at a lecture, or a friendly get together. We are in the presence of our divine Creator, who loves us and desperately want us to share divinity.

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