Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 5, 2018)
In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus confronting the crowd with the purity of their intention in following Him. While the crowd seeks perishable food, He desires that they seek Him, the ‘Bread of Life’, ‘food that endures for eternal life’. St. Francis de Sales tells us how we can prepare ourselves to have the ‘Bread of Life’ come into our lives:
The greatest intimate union that Our Savior is able to share with us is His divine life. To prepare ourselves for this union we must first clear our memory of our worldly concerns, and all that is not lasting. After we make the decision to put aside our worldly-mindedness, we must adorn our memory with all the gifts that God has given us: creation, divine providence and redemption.
Next, we must purify our will by getting rid of our disordered affections, even for good things. We need to look at what and on whom we are fixing too ardently our affections. Little by little we must order these affections so that we can say to Our Lord with David: “You are the God of my heart and my eternal lot.” The excessive love and affection for children, parents, friends, possessions, and material things become obstacles for the Holy Spirit, who desires to flood our hearts with divine love that is not perishable.
Our Savior comes to us, so that we may be all in him. You have only to be thankful for the simplicity of faith that God has given you. Ask God to continue to give you this very precious and desirable gift. Nourish yourself the whole day long with holy thoughts on the infinite goodness of our God. Rest in the providence of God, for God will never fail to supply what is necessary for your wellbeing. Praise God in this life, and you will glorify God with all the blessed in Heaven.
(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)