Tuesday, July 28, 2015

8/2/15 Mass Mysteries: The Bread of Life? What does that mean?

Welcome back to Mass Mysteries! In this weekly series, I breeze through the readings for Sunday Mass to help you and I prepare our minds so we can teach our children. I throw out whatever random knowledge or insights I may have so that you can be an instrument of catechesis for your children. If you know more than I, please comment below and add your 
own instruction for us all.

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mass Mysteries for the Littlest of the Littles
Jesus is called the Bread of Life. If we have Him in our lives, we might be hungry for food, but we won't be hungry for God.

Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.

“I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.


Holy cannoli folks, it's all about bread this week! Last week, we heard about the Multiplying Loaves and Fishes, and all things food. We're continuing with that theme, so hopefully we'll be able to hammer home the message that we want to be HUNGRY for God.

This first reading takes us back to the days of Moses. He (and GOD) had just recently led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Surely we all know that story, thanks to the 10 Commandments movie. 

In Exodus 14, God divided the Red Sea and saved the people. In Exodus 15, there is a LONG song of praise and thanksgiving to God. In Exodus 16, the people have apparently forgotten all that is good. They now wish for death in Egypt rather than following Moses to freedom. How ridiculous! Ungrateful fools--you saw miracles 2 months ago, and now you're ready to give it all up and turn your back on God.

However, I think we can all be honest and admit that we are just as shortsighted. When I have a cold for a week, I start to feel that I am ALWAYS sick and will NEVER have enough energy to get back to my to-do list! We also do this with God--only looking to the gifts and challenges of this week! Not a good habit, my friends.  I'll work on that...

Jake is my "All is Lost" kiddo. After a day at the zoo, along with snacks and treats galor, he will quickly decide that today is the "worst day ever" when he doesn't get to play with my phone on the drive home. Oh, how quickly the tables turn!

Back to the reading--after these people grumble and whine, God provides! He sends quail and manna to feed the people. He understands their grumbling and their unbelief, and again proves his love.         

Psalm 78

R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.

R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.

R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.

R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.


Last week, I asked my kids to try to find the connection with the Psalm, but I forgot to follow up. So, we'll play that game again this week, and hopefully they will listen closely enough to hear about about the manna and God's provision

Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.


This is week 4 of our journey through Ephesians. The vocabulary in this reading will make it difficult for my littles to understand. I'll need to unpack it a bit for them. I'll probably sum it up by saying, "Saint Paul is asking you to 'put off your old self' which means to get rid of the bad habits that you have. Instead, put on your 'new self' which means that you will try to be Holy like God. What good things that you do to become more holy?"

Jake and Nick each have a set of imaginary cheetah cubs that they play with and discuss often. This week, while driving, they tried to irritate each other by stealing cheetah cubs and eating them! We might have to discuss that this it NOT the new self that God wants us to have. Shameless plug--if you want to hear more about the Cheetah cubs, like Catholic Kids Bulletin on Facebook!

John 6:24-35

So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?  Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.


The connections this week are so clear-I have nothing to write! I would read this Gospel passage to my kids and ask them to explain the meaning and connection. The final verse, "I am the bread of life..." may need some discussion. But, this is the same theme that we heard last week. We want to hunger for God. We can come to God and he will provide for us--not necessarily with food and water, but with life and peace.   

Saint of the Week: Saint Clare
The story on the bulletin for this week explains why Saint Clare is the patron saint of TV. I love this story, largely because it shocks the kids that there is a saint for the TV! Catholic Online explains another miraculous episode in Saint Clare's life if you want to click on over and check that out.  

Speaking of Saints...in the Saint Story about Saint John Bosco, the kids can read more about the meaning behind the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. 

Catholic Kids Bulletin
Don't forget to print a bulletin to reinforce your teaching! 
 What I wore Sunday over at Fine Linen and Purple.

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