19th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B
During these Sundays we have been reading chapter 6 of John’s gospel. It starts with the multiplication of the 5 loaves of bread to feed the 5,000 people. Having performed that miracle – or sign – Jesus crossed the sea to escape from being made king. To the crowd that chased him and found him in Capernaum, Jesus explained that he is the ‘Bread from heaven’.
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SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
The miracle described in the first reading shows God´s concern for his people during a time of famine. The bread was meant to be offered to God. But instead of offering to God, Elisha, the prophet of the old covenant, gave it to the people. The left-overs stress God´s generosity.
15th SUNDAY ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
When I finally received the letter of destination to Sierra Leone, with the happiness of having a place to go, a Country of adoption, I begun to think and ask myself what would I need there.
I made a list that included light clothes, some books I had used and cherished up to that time (the Bible first of all!); a knife for emergencies, some medicines for malaria, worms, diarrhoea….
But meeting now this Gospel of the year B (Mark 6, 6 – 13) I realize that the words of Jesus are not in line with my past worries. My Bible, for instance, was in Italian and so not usable here because I have to proclaim it in other languages.
Jesus spoke of a stick; in my immediate preparation I did not think of it; but now, approaching the 80 years of age, I keep a walking stick at hand.
About the things that Jesus considers not useful the first He mentions is bread: Commentators say “Because he himself is the bread of life” (cf. John 6, 35); He also wants to free his missionaries from the preoccupation for the food (cf. Mt 6, 25). And saying “no spare clothes, no haversack, no money” (verses 8 and 9) Jesus thinks about the poverty of the missionaries.
I guess those who are familiar with Facebook, twitter, whatsapp; these words: “friend requests”, add friends are not alien words. Thanks to the growing fastness of the internet connection and the vast evolution of smart mobile phone, that makes it easier for us to make friendship with everybody across the world. Thus, someone can even have thousands friends or followers, although not all of them are known personally to him and surely only few that he has met. Yes, we have to acknowledge that such friendships will remain still superficial.
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
I just left the mission of Sierra Leone a week ago because of another responsibility given to me in another mission. I spent around 8 years in this mission, most was in the hilly parishes of Kabala and Mongo Bendugu. When I look back at my missionary journey I did during that time, I realised that my work is mainly sowing the seed of the Gospel through visiting villages, schools, building friendships, starting small catechumenate classes, baptizing and starting a new Christian community. My wonder is: Are they will be growing?