19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Green.
First Reading: 1 Kings 19:4-8
The angel gives Elijah food to reach the mountain of God
Elijah went into the wilderness, a day’s journey, and sitting under a furze bush wished he were dead. ‘O Lord,’ he said ‘I have had enough. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down and went to sleep. But an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked round, and there at his head was a scone baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank, and strengthened by that food he walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33(34):2-9
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.
Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free.
Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called, the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress.
The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is happy who seeks refuge in him.
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:30-5:2
Forgive each other as readily as God forgave you
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.
If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven, says the Lord.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.
Gospel: John 6:41-51
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever
The Jews were complaining to each other about Jesus, because he had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ ‘Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph’ they said. ‘We know his father and mother. How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus said in reply, ‘Stop complaining to each other.
‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God,
and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it, is to come to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God:
he has seen the Father.
I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.
‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead;
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so that a man may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
It is the Church of young people that is meeting! My warmest wish is that the enthusiasm typical of your age may help all God’s People become aware of the very lofty vocation to which Jesus is calling them. May your example be a special encouragement to your peers who are searching for genuine meaning in their lives.
"Go into all the world!" (Mark 16:15). The risen Christ’s invitation to his disciples also applies to you, called to be Christ’s apostles in our time. Your stay in Paris will be an occasion for great ecclesial and missionary commitment. With its moments of dialogue and reflection, with its liturgical celebrations and pauses for meditation, it will help you experience in a new way the presence and action of the Spirit, "who acts within the Church both in the sacraments, especially in Confirmation, and in the variety of charisms, roles and ministries which he inspires for the good of the Church" (Tertio millennio adveniente, n. 45).
Confirmed in faith and conscious of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit received in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, you will return to your countries of origin with renewed zeal. You will be messengers of hope, witnesses of the Lord’s merciful love.
May Mary, sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, who persevered in prayer with the Apostles in the Upper Room, guide and protect the forthcoming World Youth Day.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 17 August 1997)
Many young people have arranged to meet in Turin for the start of the Exposition of the Shroud. This is also a providential coincidence. In fact, the opening was conceived as a sort of introduction to the World Youth Day now close at hand. On the evening of 15 August I will have the joy of welcoming to Rome the participants in this extraordinary world meeting. In the days that follow, they will have various moments for catechesis, prayer and celebration, before the final meeting at Tor Vergata, where I am counting on being present at the great Vigil on Saturday evening and the solemn Eucharistic celebration on Sunday morning.
The world youth pilgrimage started in St Peter's Square 15 years ago and, under the guidance of the same Cross, has travelled round the world. Now that Cross has returned to Rome, carried by a group of young people from the Diocese of Mantua, who have made the journey on foot from Castiglione delle Stiviere, the homeland of St Aloysius Gonzaga. I offer them a special greeting, which I extend to all the young pilgrims who are guests in Italian Dioceses, where they are sharing the joy of the same faith and preparing to come to Rome. However, my thoughts affectionately embrace every young person who will join us in spirit in these coming days, as well as those who feel distant. I say to all: God is close to you and loves you; welcome him!
I invite you all to pray that those who come to Rome for the World Youth Day can meet Christ and be strengthened by him in faith and in their determination to follow him consistently. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 13 August 2000)
1. The day before yesterday, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Liturgy urged us to turn our gaze towards heaven to contemplate Mary in the new Jerusalem, the Holy City that comes down from God (cf. Apocalypse 21: 2).
"Behold", says the Lord, "I make all things new" (ibid., 21: 5). The Gospel of hope resounds with vigour in the Apocalypse which urges us to welcome the "newness of God", an eschatological gift which goes beyond all human possibility and which only he can make. This "newness" will be accomplished in full at the end of time but it is already present in history. In fact, even now, God is renewing and transforming the world through the Church, and the effects of his action are perceived "in every form of human coexistence inspired by the Gospel" (Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 107).
2. The European continent that for two millennia "has heard the Gospel of the Kingdom inaugurated by Jesus" (ibid.), cannot but let itself be challenged by this "newness". The Christian faith has given it its shape and some of its fundamental values have subsequently inspired the "democratic ideal and human rights" of modern Europe. Besides being a "geographical area", Europe is "primarily a cultural and historical concept", now defined as a Continent thanks also to the unifying force of Christianity, which has been capable of integrating different peoples and cultures (cf. ibid., n. 108).
It cannot be denied that in our times Europe is going through a crisis of values and it is important that it recover its true identity. The expansion of the European Union and other countries cannot be reduced merely to its geographic and economic dimensions; rather, it must consist in a renewed, accepted set of values which must find expression in its law and in its life (cf. ibid., n. 110).
3. Let us pray to the Holy Virgin, venerated in many European shrines, so that she may help the Continent to be ever more aware of its own spiritual vocation and help to build solidarity and peace "within its borders and throughout the world" (ibid., n. 112).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 17 August 2003)
In this summer period many have left the city and find themselves at tourist sites or in their homeland for their vacations. My wish for them is that this awaited rest serves to strengthen their mind and body, which, given the hectic course of modern existence, daily undergoes a continuous fatigue and strain.
The holidays also afford a precious opportunity to spend more time with relatives, to visit family and friends, in a word, to give more space to those human contacts whose desired cultivation is impeded by the rhythm of daily duties.
Certainly, not everyone can take advantage of vacation time and many must bypass it for various motives. I think in a particular way of those who are alone, of the elderly and the sick who often experience solitude even more during this time. To these our brothers and sisters, I would like to manifest my spiritual closeness, heartily wishing that none of them lack the support and comfort of friendly people.
For many, vacation time becomes a profitable occasion for cultural contacts, for prolonged moments of prayer and of contemplation in contact with nature or in monasteries and religious structures. Having more free time, one can dedicate oneself more easily to conversation with God, meditation on Sacred Scripture and reading some useful, formative book.
Those who experience this spiritual repose know how useful it is not to reduce vacations to mere relaxation and amusement.
Faithful participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration helps one to feel a living part of the Ecclesial Community even when one is outside his or her own parish. Wherever we find ourselves, we always need to be nourished by the Eucharist.
Today's Gospel reminds us of this by presenting Jesus as the Bread of life. He himself, according to what the Evangelist John writes, proclaims himself as "the living bread come down from heaven" (cf. John 6: 31), bread that feeds our faith and nourishes communion among all Christians.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 13 August 2006)
Like last Sunday, today too in the context of the Year for Priests that we are celebrating we shall pause to meditate on some of the men and women Saints that the liturgy commemorates in these days. Except for the Virgin Clare of Assisi, who was consumed with divine love in her daily sacrifice of prayer and community life, the others are martyrs, two of whom were killed in the concentration camp at Auschwitz: St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, who, born into the Jewish faith and won over by Christ as an adult, became a Carmelite nun and sealed her existence with martyrdom; and St Maximilian Kolbe, a son of Poland and of St Francis of Assisi, a great apostle of Mary Immaculate. We shall then encounter other splendid figures, martyrs of the Church of Rome, such as Pope St Pontianus, St Hippolytus, a priest, and St Lawrence the Deacon. What marvellous models of holiness the Church presents to us! These saints are witnesses of that charity which loves "to the end", which does not take into account a wrong suffered but instead combats it with good (cf. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8). From them we can learn especially we priests the evangelical heroism that impels us to give our life fearlessly for the salvation of souls. Love triumphs over death!
All the saints, but especially martyrs, are witnesses of God, who is Love: Deus Caritas est. The Nazi concentration camps, like all extermination camps, can be considered extreme symbols of evil, of hell that opens on earth when man forgets God and supplants him, usurping his right to decide what is good and what is evil, to give life and death. However, this sad phenomenon is unfortunately not limited to concentration camps. Rather, they are the culmination of an extensive and widespread reality, often with shifting boundaries. The Saints whom I have briefly recalled lead us to reflect on the profound divergences that exist between atheistic humanism and Christian humanism. This antithesis permeates the whole of history but with the contemporary nihilism, at the end of the second millennium, it has reached a crucial point, as great literary figures and thinkers have perceived and as events have amply demonstrated. On the one hand, there are philosophies and ideologies, but there are also always more ways of thinking and acting that exalt freedom as the unique principle of the human being, as an alternative to God, and which in this way transform the human being into a god, but an erroneous god who makes arbitrariness his own system of behaviour. On the other hand, we have the Saints who, in practising the Gospel of charity, account for their hope. They show the true Face of God who is Love and, at the same time, the authentic face of man, created in the divine image and likeness.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray the Virgin Mary to help all of us and in the first place priests to be holy like these heroic witnesses of faith and of self-dedication to the point of martyrdom. And charity in truth is the only credible and exhaustive response one can offer to the profound human and spiritual crisis of the contemporary world.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 9 August 2009)
The Reading of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel in the Liturgy of these Sundays has led us to reflect on the multiplication of the loaves, with which the Lord satisfied the hunger of a crowd of five thousand, and on the invitation Jesus addresses to all those whom he had feed to busy themselves seeking a food that endures to eternal life. Jesus wants to help them understand the profound meaning of the miracle he had worked: in miraculously satisfying their physical hunger; he prepares them to receive the news that he is the Bread which has come down from heaven (cf. John 6:41), which will satisfy hunger for ever. The Jewish people too, during their long journey through the desert, experienced bread which came down from heaven, manna, which kept them alive until they reached the Promised Land. Jesus now speaks of himself as the true Bread come down from heaven, which is capable of keeping people alive not for a moment or on a stretch of a journey but for ever. He is the food that gives eternal life, because he is the Only-Begotten Son of God who is in the Father’s heart, who came to give man life in fullness, to introduce man into the very life of God.
In Jewish thought it was clear that the true bread of heaven, which nourished Israel, was the Law, the word of God. The People of Israel clearly recognized that the Torah, which was Moses’ fundamental and lasting gift, was the basic element that distinguished them from other peoples and consisted in their knowledge of God’s will, thus the right way of life. Now Jesus, in manifesting himself as the bread of heaven, witnesses that he himself is the Word of God in Person, the Incarnate Word, through whom man can make the will of God his food (cf. John 4:34), which guides and sustains his existence.
Therefore to doubt in the divinity of Jesus, as do the Jews in today’s Gospel passage, means setting oneself against God’s work. Indeed, they say: he is the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know! (cf. John 6:42). They do not go beyond his earthly origins, and for this reason refuse to accept him as the Word of God made flesh. St Augustine, in his Commentary on John’s Gospel explains it in the following way: “These Jews were far from the bread of heaven, and knew not how to hunger after it. They had the jaws of their heart languid... This bread, indeed, requires the hunger of the inner man” (26, 1).
And we must ask ourselves if we really feel this hunger, the hunger for the Word of God, the hunger to know life’s true meaning. Only those who are drawn by God the Father, who listen to him and let themselves be instructed by him can believe in Jesus, meet him and nourish themselves with him and thereby find true life, the road of life, justice, truth and love. St Augustine adds: “the Lord.... said that he himself was the Bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe in him. For to believe in him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly he is born again” to a deeper and truer life. He is reborn from within, from his intimate self he is made new (ibid.).
Invoking Mary Most Holy, let us ask her to guide us to the encounter with Jesus so that our friendship with him may be more and more intense; let us ask her to usher us into full communion of love with her Son, the living Bread come down from heaven, so as to be renewed by him in the depths of our being.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 12 August 2012)
This Sunday, we continue the Reading of Chapter Six of the Gospel according to John, in which Jesus, after performing the great miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, explains to the people the meaning of that “sign” (John 6:41-51).
The people seek him, the people listen to him, because they are still enthusiastic about the miracle; they want to make him king! However, when Jesus affirms that he is the true bread given by God, many are shocked, they do not understand, and begin murmuring among themselves, saying: “Do we not know his father and mother? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (cf. John 6:42). And they begin to murmur. Then Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”, and he adds: “he who believes has eternal life” (vv. 44, 47).
This word of the Lord astonishes us, and makes us think. It introduces the dynamic of faith, which is a relationship: the relationship between the human person — all of us — and the Person of Jesus, where the Father plays a decisive role, and, of course, the Holy Spirit does too, which is implied here. To believe in Him, it is not enough to meet Jesus, it is not enough to read the Bible, the Gospel — this is important! But it is not enough. It is not even enough to witness a miracle, such as that of the multiplication of the loaves. So many people were in close contact with Jesus and they did not believe. In fact, they even despised and condemned him. And I ask myself: Why this? Were they not attracted by the Father? No, this happened because their hearts were closed to the action of God’s Spirit. If your heart is always closed, faith doesn’t enter! Instead God the Father draws us to Jesus: it is we who open or close our hearts. Instead, faith, which is like a seed deep in the heart, blossoms when we let the Father draw us to Jesus, and we “go to Him” with an open heart, without prejudices; then we recognize in his face the Face of God, and in his words the Word of God, because the Holy Spirit has made us enter into the relationship of love and of life between Jesus and God the Father. And there we receive a gift, the gift of the faith.
With this attitude of faith, we can also understand the meaning of the “Bread of Life” that Jesus gives us, and which he describes in this way: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51). In Jesus, in his “flesh” — that is, in his concrete humanity — is all the love of God, which is the Holy Spirit. Those who let themselves be drawn by this love go to Jesus and go with faith, and receive from Him life, eternal life.
The one who lived this experience in such an exemplary way was Mary, the Virgin of Nazareth: the first human person who believed in God by accepting the flesh of Jesus. Let us learn from her, our Mother, joy and gratitude through the gift of faith. A gift that is not “private”, a gift that is not private property but is a gift to be shared: it is a gift “for the life of the world”!
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 9 August 2015)
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Compiled on 12 August 2018