15 August 2015


proverbs 9:1-6; ephesians 5:15-20; john 6:51-58

there are two birds that fly over deserts: the vulture and the hummingbird. the vulture thrives on the rotting meat; the hummingbird looks for colourful blossoms. the vulture lives on the past, and fills itself with what is dead; the hummingbird lives on the present, and fills itself with life. each bird chooses its food, and finds what it is looking for. we all do! 

this is the thrust of today’s readings.

the first reading portrays wisdom as a woman who sends her servants to invite people to her banquet. subsequent verses describe dame folly who invites passers-by to her meal of stolen bread and water of deceit. banqueting at the feast of lady wisdom brings life and new perception; eating at the table of dame folly brings death.

in the second reading st paul gives the ephesians three «be-attitudes»: be wise, be sober, and be thankful. 
on this justice sunday, these are «be-attitudes» we need to choose: be wise to understand that the cause of injustice and lack of peace in our world lies in our selfish quest to grab more for ourselves; be sober in using the goods of the world so that there is an equitable distribution of the world’s resources; be thankful for his blessings. 

the gospel contrasts the manna in the desert with the bread that JESUS gives: the manna that was not eaten within the day had to be thrown away; it was no longer any good. after JESUS fed the five thousand, twelve baskets of fragments were gathered and saved. with him things are different: he gives (and is) bread which lasts. moreover, the manna belongs to the past. JESUS is the new manna, the bread from heaven that lasts forever and nourishes us with everlasting life. «whoever eats this bread (a choice!) will live forever.»

on the bicentenary of don bosco’s birth, we ought to remember the choice he made: working for poor and abandoned youth versus accepting privileged positions elsewhere!

what are the choices i make: 
do i like the vulture seek a culture of death or like the hummingbird seek life?
am i wise, sober and thankful? 
am i satisfied with the junk food with «empty calories» the world offers or do i feast on JESUS the living bread?
may you and i make the right «dietary» choices; they affect our destiny! shalom!