The Bishops Homily – 19th Sunday Ordinary Time 2018

19th Sunday Ordinary Time
Cycle B | 12/08/18
1 Kgs 19: 4-8
Eph. 4:30-5:2
John 6: 41-51

INTRODUCTION: Our 1st Reading is taken from the adventures of Elijah from I Kings. It deals there with the story of Elijah and his battle with the priests of the false God Baal. Elijah heroically called them out and defeated them at Mt. Carmel and then killed all the priests of Baal.

Our reading comes at the wake of that because Queen Jezebel who was a follower of Baal was running with her whole Army and the Police Force to get Elijah. Elijah was on the run and after a day’s journey wished he were dead. “Lord, I have had enough. Take my life away! I am no better than my ancestors.” Can anyone imagine his fatigue?

(1) There are times when we and everybody listening now felt just this way! We felt so exhausted that we just wished to die! We hear an angel touched Elijah and ordered him to get up and eat. He got up and ate the baked bread and drunk the jar of water he found beside his bed and got back to sleep. An angel came back and touched him a second time around, “Get up or the journey will be too long for you.”

Strengthened by this food, he walked his way to Mt. Horeb. Watch for the touch of an angel at the toughest time of your life. Precisely at the toughest time God tends to send an angel that will give us the sustenance that we need especially at those times.

(2) Our theme for this Sunday is our need for food and nourishment. How dependent we are on food and sleep. Tell an incident or two when you just hit rock bottom and your body just gives way to exhaustion. How dependent we are on food and rest! This story provide a very exact analogy to spiritual health and spiritual eating.

We have in our being an orientation to God, a link to the eternal what Tradition calls “soul”. The soul needs to be fed or it shrinks down and atrophies as surely as the muscle of the body. If we do not feed the soul, the soul will hit rock bottom and it will die. What seems the problem? Not rock and science but they do not feed the soul.

(3) How do you feed the soul? May I suggest some ways?

a) By prayer: raising the heart and mind to God. “Lift up your heart.” A conversation with God. How do you pray? Try the Jesus Prayer: “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me.” Saying this over and over from five to ten or half an hour. Variation of this in the East is the Rosary.

b) Some serious spiritual Theology reading stuff instead of junks. Bookstores are less now and are going extinct in favor of the social media.

c) Engaging in corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Divine Life is mercy; junk food is money, honor, pleasure. Don’t want that stuff but mercy.

d) The Eucharist that brings us to the John 6 where Jesus says: “I am the living bread come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will leave forever.” Do you want eternity? Then you have to take it unto you.

CONCLUSION: How and what you eat? Feed your soul but especially with the Eucharist!

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches