This Sunday’s Readings:
Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
Psalm 78:3–4, 23–24, 25, 54 (℟ 24b)
Ephesians 4:17, 20–24
IN TODAY’S REVELATION OF JESUS’S TRUE IDENTITY, the crowd (who stands in for us) misses the boat entirely. They keep asking Jesus the wrong questions: When did you get here? What can we do? What can you do, like Moses did, to make us believe? I can almost see Jesus rolling his eyes. He tells them to stop looking to him because of signs or miracles. Stop asking about what they can do or what he can do. Stop living in the past, and start noticing what God is doing right now before their very eyes. And stop asking for so little! God is feeding us not with bread that satisfies for a while but with a person, God’s own, sent from heaven to give life to the world.
Jesus signifies God’s new reality that upends everything. In God’s reign, the things we relied on in the past, the things that benefitted and comforted us—miracles, prophets, kings, systems, structures, societal norms—are meager crumbs compared to what God wants to give: eternal life to all forever.
Jesus, the Bread of Life, stands before us in this world where the gap between the insatiable rich and the hungry poor grows ever wider, where physical isolation has disconnected us from concern for others, and he asks: Will you yearn for more and believe in me?
“The bread Jesus gives is himself for the world and life without end; taste and see!”
In this piece, we sing of the various times in Scripture that God has fed his people with heavenly bread. The Israelites, David, Elijah, and the crowd fed with five loaves and two fish all found what they needed in the feeding that prefigured the Eucharist. These faithful disciples turned to God and found nourishment. What was done for these disciples, Christ does for us each week when we partake in the Eucharist. In the book of psalms, the psalmist asks God to do for us what was once done for God’s people. We call this “remembering into the future” anamnesis.
The Eucharist is the prime example of this continuous love and care God has for us. What does this Eucharistic nourishment mean to you this week?
More choral suggestions for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time…
Al Partir el Pan/When We Break This Bread Pedro Rubalcava Two- or Three-part choir, cantor, assembly, 2 trumpets, 2 violins, guitar, keyboard 012642
Gusten y Vean: Salmo 34/33 (bilingual) Pedro Rubalcava SATB, cantor, assembly, guitar, piano 012676
I Am the Bread of Life Suzanne Toolan, Arr. Richard Proulx SATB, assembly, organ, oboe, opt. string quintet G-7374
I Am the Bread of Life Suzanne Toolan, Arr. Rory Cooney SATB, assembly, organ, brass quartet G-5016
I Am the Living Bread Carl Johengen Cantor, SATB, assembly, organ, opt. oboe G-4353
I Am the Living Bread Leo Nestor SATB, cantor, assembly, organ, opt. string quintet D-9104
I Am Yours / Consume Me Completely Trevor Thomson Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 008398
Jesus, Be Known to Us Janèt Sullivan Whitaker SATB, cantor, assembly, oboe, guitar, keyboard, opt clarinet, violin or viola, & cello 009006
Lord, I Want to Be a Christian Jalonda Robertson SATB, guitar, keyboard 001265
No Greater Love John Angotti SATB, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 008339
O Great Sacred Feast/O Sacrum Convivium Edward Eicker SATB, keyboard 009437
Pan del Cielo/Bread of Heaven Eleazar Cortés, Arr. Jeffrey Honoré & Peter Kolar Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, opt marimba, guitar, keyboard 012643
The Bread that I Will Give James Biery SATB, assembly, organ G-5935
We Come to Your Table Lord William Batchelder Bradbury, Arr. Steven Van Wye Unison children’s choir, descant, assembly, guitar, keyboard 007144