“19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time” by Fr. Greg Redoblado, OFM

We are to come to the Eucharistic table because we need the strength and energy to continue with our mission. Hence, the Eucharist is to be understood again in the spirit of our missionary task.

The readings this Sunday continue our reflection on the meaning of the Eucharist in our lives. For the last two Sundays, we have been discussing the Eucharist. Last Sunday, we reflected that the Eucharist reminds us of our responsibility. Like the poor little boy
in the gospel of the multiplication of bread and fish, we are to share our bread and fish to those who do not have bread on their table. There is no real Eucharist therefore if we fail to show our love and concem for the needy. It is a Christian responsibility to care for those who are in need among us.

Last Sunday, we were also reminded that while we need physical and material nourishment for our body, we are to hunger for the food that brings us real meaning in life. We are not to search only for perishable food but to long for the bread that leads to eternal life, Jesus himself. In this case, the Eucharist becomes a sacrament of God’s reign of eternal love and peace that should also be manifested in our life. It means that when we receive Christ in Holy Communion, according to the letter to the Ephesians last Sunday, we are to put away the old self and put on the new one. When we receive Communion, we put on Christ in our lives so that it is no longer we that live but Christ that lives in us.

In our readings today, we advance our reflection on the Eucharist. In the first reading, we hear the story of Elijah, who was running away in fear of his life from the clutches of queen Jezebel. He just defeated the prophets of Baal in a contest and also brought these prophets to their death. This angered Jezebel, who became resolute to revenge the death of these prophets and to capture and kill Elijah. Elijah, on his part, ran away in fear and desperation. He wanted to give up already by just sleeping and not eating. It was better for him to resign and just die. But the Lord sent an angel twice to wake him up and feed him. He was told he needed food to continue and so be able to reach his destination for his task was not over yet. I believe that the reading today gives us another beautiful dimension of the Eucharist. We are to come to the Eucharistic table because we need the strength and energy to continue with our mission. Hence, the Eucharist is to be understood again in the spirit of our missionary task. We are to eat in order to do our mission. There is a tendency in us Christians to be passive receivers of the Eucharist and not to feel obliged to do what God wants us to accomplish. At the end of the mass, the priest says after communion and blessing, “Go forth, the mass is ended.” Yes, it says go forth to continue our mission after being nourished with the Eucharist. Go forth and care, go forth and help, go forth and let the people feel the love and nourishment that comes from God.

With the recent heavy rains and flood that affected our people especially here in Luzon and Metro Manila, we are called to go forth and live our Eucharistic life of extending our hands to those who are in need. I was touched by the initiative of many people to save lives. In a very special way, we thank the youth of this parish and many of those who volunteered to respond to the needs of our people. I remember on the very first night of the flooding, 7th of August, Fr. Joel and some youth of our parish already went to distribute goods to the affected areas in Frisco, Quezon City, where more than 600 hundred families were evacuated to the Parish Center of San Pedro Bautista Parish. The following day, more donations poured in and more youth came to help in packing the goods. They then made two more deployments and distribution of the goods to the victims. This is, I believe, the meaning of the Eucharist. It is not only coming to communion but it is going forth to be in communion with all, especially with those who are suffering and distressed. God has nourished us with plenty of material and physical resources, let us be filled also with this bread from heaven, the one that moves us to break our bread of abundant blessings for the life of the world. Amen

as published on August 12, 2012, Parish Bulletin
About Fr. Greg and a few of his Reflections