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August 20th 2006 A.D. - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jn  6/51-58
Catholic Homilies
August 20th 2006 A.D.

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jn 6/51-58
August Homilies: 6th | 13th | 20th | 27th


  One must not take this passage as a description of an actual dialogue between Jesus and some of those who followed him. Rather it doubtless refers to a difficulty in St. John’s community over the Eucharist and the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, a difficulty which has plagued the Church through it’s history, mostly because have tried to reduce mystery to prose, to explain the inexplicable. The Eucharist demands faith at every time and place, but less faith in the how then in the fact of the presence of Jesus. As the first reading suggests faith opens up the fonts of wisdom and feeds us with it.

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  A young college student went to the Newman chaplain and said, I believe in God and in life after death and in resurrection and in the church, but I cannot accept that Jesus is really present, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. I’m sorry, but I just cant. The priest thought this was like swallowing the grizzly bear and straining at the gnat. Resurrection, he said, is a humungous miracle. Real Presence is kind of ordinary in comparison. I don’t believe I really eat Jesus, the young man said. It’s just bread that’s all. You don’t eat Jesus, the priest replied, knowing that he had one of those kids who somehow or the other had run into an old fashioned teacher, one that still thought it was a sacrilege for anyone but a priest to touch the sacred host. The poor kid was really worried about how the doctrine of the real presence exposed Jesus to desecration if even a tiny piece was somehow lost. The priest went through a lot of theological explanations which did not satisfy the young man. I just have to understand how he works it out, the lad pleaded. Have you figured out how God created the universe from nothing in the snap of a finger, the priest said. Of course not the young man replied. Then his voice faded off. Oh, I get it, he said softly. I’m not supposed to understand everything.


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Of course not the young man replied. Then his voice faded off. Oh, I get it, he said softly. I’m not supposed to understand everything

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