A Moment before the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Sunday’s first reading, God miraculously provides Elijah with food in the desert. It’s basically a small-scale version of last Sunday’s first reading, with God feeding His people during the Exodus.
But it’s not just the feedings that these readings have in common. Before God acts, Elijah is a complaint factory. God’s people in Exodus are no better.
What stands out about both readings?
That God acts not when people are at their most worthy or most loveable. But when they are at their least loveable. And most needy.
Which tells us a lot about the heart of God.
And it’s the “why” behind Sunday’s Gospel.
This Sunday's Gospel picks up from last Sunday. It's the next part of the bread of life discourse. Jesus makes the connection to Exodus, where God's people are fed with bread from heaven.
But Jesus doesn’t connect His own miracles of feeding to God's miracles of feeding in the Old Testament.
Jesus makes the connection. To Himself.
He calls Himself the bread of life. When people get confused, Jesus drops the parables and gets literal.
Jesus lets them know what the “why” behind Sunday’s Gospel looks like in practice.