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You are because of one man. We are here because of one man, and that man is Jesus Christ. So dear friends, I invite you to stay despite the failing of his ministers. I invite you to stay and pray that Christ the divine physician will bring healing to the survivors. Especially right now in their time of need.

I invite you to stay. Thats my plea tonight. Many of us turn to the Church when we need hope and healing in our lives. Right now, the Church is vulnerable and needs this from you. My hope and prayer for all of us here is that we will stay. In a moment I will sit down and allow each of us to have a moment silence for prayer.

My hope and prayer is that each of us will stay and answer like Peter and Joshua: Lord to whom else shall we go? You have the words of Eternal Life. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Do we believe that God gives us what we need? The Israelites in our first reading from Exodus are wandering the desert. They are in the desert because they have had something amazing happen to them — they have been freed from slavery.

And yet, as they wander in the desert, they begin to doubt God, doubt whether or not God is still with them, and even wish they were back in Egypt as slaves! So, God, as a sign of his love and fidelity gives them their fill of bread to eat. He provides for them in a time of need. The people are following Jesus, but they lost track of him. So they go to another part of the sea. In other words, they seem to be looking for Jesus only because he provided them all with food — he provided for them what they needed.

But Jesus tells them, that the miracle of loaves and the fish was performed so that they would seek food that endures for eternal life.

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But instead, they misunderstood and kept seeking food that perishes. But Jesus wanted to give them something more. Jesus wanted to give them what they truly needed. He wants to give them food that endures.

The Lord gives us what we need. That is the good news we receive this weekend. The Israelites in the desert were complaining and doubting God. And he gives them bread to remind them that he will give them what they need. The people seeking Jesus in our Gospel, doubt who Jesus really is. They ask for a greater sign. I am the Bread of life, says Jesus, your ancestors ate bread from heaven, but I am the bread of life that comes down from heaven to give you life.

Jesus is making an identity claim here. I am the one who comes from God. I am one of divine origin. I have been sent by the Father to give you life. So what do you need? The Eucharist provides for all our needs. Are you seeking help in an addiction or a struggle with sin? The Eucharist is your answer. It is the spiritual medicine that Christ gives to help us overcome our weaknesses. Are you seeking deeper friendship and communion with Christ? The Eucharist and the living Word of God will give that to you.

Are you seeking real friendship and a sense of belonging in a Christian community? The Eucharist gives that to you as well. It is the bond of fellowship. My friends, I cannot stress this point enough. Coming together around this Eucharistic table brings us closer to our Lord and closer to each other. If we see God working in the lives of others here, we become encouraged in our own spiritual lives. Do you desire to love as Christ loves? The Eucharist expands your heart and helps you grow in charity. Do you simply just want to give Jesus thanks for the blessings God has given you.

May the Eucharist we receive today help us to open our hearts to receive from God what each of us truly needs. We are in the opening scenes of John 6, and just like where we left off in Mark, the crowds have followed Jesus and gathered around him. Jesus wants to take care of the crowds and give them life. And Jesus responds to their need for food by feeding them through the loaves and the fish. Over these next five weeks, we will hear the entire chapter of John 6, more commonly known as the Bread of Life discourse where he will teach and proclaim that He is the Bread of Life.

Friends, the Church is zoning in on this one chapter to remind us that Jesus continues to feed the crowds today through the context of the Mass. If we need any further proof that John is talking about the Eucharist consider these words in light of the other Gospels at the Last Supper: Every early Christian would have made the connection between these last supper narratives and the words John used in the story of Christ feeding the five thousand. It is undeniable, we are talking about the Eucharist. If John is talking about the Eucharist and that is our focus in general for these next five weeks, then what is our particular focus for this weekend?

I believe the answer to that is the offertory. This is not a stage production. This is not just something done to pass the time. Listen to these words from the instructions on the celebration of the Mass: It is a praiseworthy practice for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful.

They are then accepted at an appropriate place by the Priest or the Deacon to be carried to the altar.

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Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy as was once the case, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual efficacy and significance. Carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual efficacy and significance… brief pause. The purpose of the offertory is our time to intentionally give God thanks for the gifts he has given us. Its where we offer back the fruit of our labor to God. Further, it is where we, in faith, place our trust in God that He can take the little we have to offer and do something extraordinary!

What else is in there? He likes those man. I found a winner man! The first is this leftover mentality. It is something we can all struggle with; including me. When we are confronted with giving, most times we only do it at the end.

We look for what is left over. But this is contrary to what happens in our first reading. We heard about a man who came to the Prophet Elisha offering twenty loaves of bread; which were from the firstfruits! One of the greatest roadblocks to our own personal giving is waiting to give that which is leftover.

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If we do this, then we run the risk of running out and not having anything left to give God. But our Gospel also illustrates ways we can become discouraged in our giving. The first comes from Philip. All we have to do is think about our pending capital campaign.

Reading Beneath the Words

Even if we raised 2 million we only have enough to accomplish a little. Just as Philip saw the need. He saw the crowds. Then we hear from Andrew. Andrew points to the boy and says, here is a young boy who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many? Lord, how can we provide for five thousand with only five loaves and two fish!?! What does this mentality look like in our parish? It looks something like this: So, how could my gift do anything?

What could my small gift really do for the parish? And finally, the last destructive mentality…. It is profoundly […]. Is it right to fear God? An Advent homily by Fr Stephen Wang: Look around you at the chapel walls. Look at the […].

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Are you a secret syncretist? A homily by Fr Stephen Wang Here is the question: Are you a syncretist? Bartimaeus, the blind beggar in the gospel today — he certainly believes. But what about the other beggars sitting beside him at the city gate; […]. Is it more important to keep the faith or deepen the faith or share the faith? A homily by Fr Stephen Wang. Adam is walking in the Garden of Eden at the very dawn of creation.

It is a world of infinite possibility; […]. Thoughts for Catholic students as they begin the academic year: I spent the bank holiday weekend at Walsingham for the annual Youth Summer Festival. There was a very nice piece about the group in the Catholic Herald just a few days before by Joanna […]. It feels as if we are part of an epic biblical scene: Two great tribes have gathered together from the four corners of the continent, at the place where the plain meets the mountains, to […].

It started life as a series of short articles about the Catholic faith, and gradually morphed into a more systematic presentation within a traditional catechetical structure. Lord Patten outlined the recommendations his committee has made to a Vatican commission about the reform of the Vatican […]. I saw the RSC play Oppenheimer this week. For me, the overriding one was how it […]. Archbishop Oscar Romero is beatified today in El Salvador. If there is a meaning hidden beneath and within the text of the Old Testament, then what does it say about the world that we live in?

Is there something beneath and within our own existence and experience of the world that reveals Christ as well?

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The sacramental life of the Church bears witness to this aspect of the world. The Church, in her prayers, does not make something to be what it is not, but reveals it to be what it truly is paraphrasing Fr. This is not just true of the sacraments, but of all things. The world is icon and sacrament pointing towards its Creator as well as being that place where we have communion with Him. All of Creation rejoices in you, O full of grace: He made your body into a throne, and your womb more spacious than the heavens.

All of creation rejoices in you, O full of grace: In the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, Christ makes known to us what is hidden. He reveals the truth of our existence and the true nature of all things. It is worth noting that the New Testament takes great care to tell us that what it says has first been hidden. It makes no apologies:. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord Eph 3: Glory to God for All Things.

Reading Beneath the Words Fr. Through her is established a connection to the World on High, and mystical contact with eternity.