Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Deacon Anthony Cincotta

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:4-8, Psalm 34:2-9, Ephesians 4:30-5:2, & John 6:41-51

We all do our fair share of complaining, and at times, with good reason. We complain about the weather, rush hour traffic, the coaching of our favorite sports teams, etc. We complain so often that we may find ourselves complaining about nothing in particular for the sake of complaining. As a result, we can quickly get ourselves into a very negative frame of mind. We see the problems, but we see nothing else. We fail to see the bigger picture, which will nearly always have a brighter outcome if we only expand our vision.

Today's Gospel narrative opens with the Jews complaining to each other about Jesus. As far as they were concerned, He was a problem and one that they could not see beyond. They had always known Him as the Son of Joseph, the carpenter from Nazareth; they knew His family and His mother. Yet, He was claiming to be the bread that came down from heaven. They felt scandalized that one of their own could make such claims for Himself. Their response to Jesus was to complain about Him. Complaining is rarely an adequate response to anything or anyone; it is certainly not an adequate response to the person of Jesus.

Friends, Jesus calls for a very different kind of response. He speaks of this response initially as coming to Him. To come to Jesus is the first step on the way to faith. In the first chapter of John's Gospel, when Jesus meets the disciples of John the Baptist for the first time, He says to them, "Come and see." They came, they saw, and eventually, they went on to believe in Him. Jesus' call to come to Him is given even to those who already believe. He calls those who believe to come closer to Him to believe more fully, more deeply. As followers of Jesus, we spend our whole lives coming to Him. We never fully arrive to Him in this life; we never fully grasp Him, either with our minds or hearts. We are always on the way towards Him. No matter where we are on our faith journey, the Lord keeps calling on us to "come and see." When we do, we will never have a reason to complain again.

Prayer: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever."



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