20th 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: Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom builds her house and invites all to eat her bread there
Wisdom has built herself a house, she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine, she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’ To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread, drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live, walk in the ways of perception.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33(34):2-3,10-15
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.
Revere the Lord, you his saints. They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.
Come, children, and hear me that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life and many days, to enjoy his prosperity?
Then keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn aside from evil and do good; seek and strive after peace.
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20
Be filled not with wine, but with the Spirit
Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word was made flesh and lived among us:
to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me, and I live in him, says the Lord.
Gospel: John 6:51-58
My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘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.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
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
The response to the question "Teacher, where do you live?" involves many aspects. It has an historical, paschal and sacramental dimension. Today's first reading suggests yet another aspect of the answer to the question which is the theme of the World Youth Day: Christ dwells among his People. This is the people mentioned in the Book of Deuteronomy in relation to the history of Israel: "It is because the Lord loves you . . . that [he] has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage . . . Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps his covenant . . . to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy 7:8-9). Israel is the people whom God chose for himself and with whom he made a covenant.
In the New Covenant, God's election has been extended to all the peoples of the earth. In Jesus Christ, God has chosen all humanity for his own. Through the Redemption he has revealed the universality of his election. In Christ, there is no longer Jew or Greek, nor slave or free; all are now one (cf. Galatians 3:28). Everyone is called to share in God's life, thanks to the death and resurrection of Christ. Does not our encounter at this World Youth Day reflect this truth? All of you, assembled here from many countries and continents, bear witness to the universal vocation of the People of God redeemed by Christ! The ultimate answer to the question "Teacher, where are you staying?" should then be understood as: I live in all the human beings who have been saved. Yes, Christ dwells in his People, the People which has struck root among all the peoples of the earth, the People which follows him, the Crucified and Risen Lord, the Redeemer of the world, the Teacher who has the words of everlasting life, the one who is "the head of the new and universal people of the children of God" (Lumen Gentium, 13). The Second Vatican Council has said it wonderfully: "Christ has shared with us his Spirit who, being one and the same being in head and members, gives life to, unifies and moves the whole body" (ibid., 7). Thanks to the Church which gives us a share in the very life of the Lord, all of us can now repeat Peter's words to Jesus: "To whom shall we go? To whom else shall we go? (cf. John 6:68).
Dear young people, your journey does not end here. Time does not come to a halt. Go forth now along the roads of the world, along the pathways of humanity, while remaining ever united in Christ's Church!
Continue to contemplate God's glory and God's love, and you will receive the enlightenment needed to build the civilization of love, to help our brothers and sisters to see the world transfigured by God's eternal wisdom and love.
Forgiven and reconciled, be faithful to the Baptism which you have received! Be witnesses to the Gospel! As active and responsible members of the Church, be disciples and witnesses of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father! And abide always in the unity of the Spirit who is the giver of life!
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 24 August 1997)
1. At the close of this World Youth Day in France, I wish to recall the great figure of Saint Theresa of Lisieux, whose birth took place one hundred years ago.
This young Carmelite was entirely captivated by the love of God. She lived the radical offering of herself in response to that love. In the simplicity of daily life she also knew how to practise fraternal love. Imitating Jesus, she willingly sat at the table of sinners, her brothers and sisters, so that they might be purified by love, for she was animated by an ardent desire to see everyone "enlightened by the luminous torch of faith" (cf. Ms C, 6 rº).
Theresa was familiar with physical suffering and the testing of faith. But she remained faithful because in her great spiritual understanding she knew that God was just and merciful; she perceived that love is more something received from God than something given by man. In the depths of darkness, she placed her hope in Jesus, the suffering Servant who gave his life for many (cf. Isaiah 53:12).
2. Theresa always had the Book of the Gospels at hand (cf. Letter 193). She penetrated its message with an extraordinary certainty of judgement. She understood that in the life of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, "love and faithfulness meet" (Psalm 85:10). In a few years, she ran "a giant's course" (Ms A, 44 vº). She discovered that her vocation was to be love itself in the heart of the Church. Humble and poor, Theresa shows the "little way" of children who confide in the Father with "bold trust". The heart of her message, her spiritual attitude, is for all the faithful.
Theresa's teaching, a true science of love, is the luminous expression of her knowledge of the mystery of Christ and of her personal experience of grace; she helps the men and women of today, and she will help those of tomorrow, to be more aware of the gifts of God and to spread the Good News of his infinite love.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 24 August 1997)
This is the stupendous truth, dear friends: the Word, who took flesh two thousand years ago, is present today in the Eucharist. That is why the year of the Great Jubilee, in which we are celebrating the mystery of the Incarnation, had to be an “intensely Eucharistic” year as well (cf. Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 55).
The Eucharist is the sacrament of the presence of Christ, who gives himself to us because he loves us. He loves each one of us in a unique and personal way in our practical daily lives: in our families, among our friends, at study and work, in rest and relaxation. He loves us when he fills our days with freshness, and also when, in times of suffering, he allows trials to weigh upon us: even in the most severe trials, he lets us hear his voice.
Yes, dear friends, Christ loves us and he loves us for ever! He loves us even when we disappoint him, when we fail to meet his expectations for us. He never fails to embrace us in his mercy. How can we not be grateful to this God who has redeemed us, going so far as to accept the foolishness of the Cross? To God who has come to be at our side and has stayed with us to the end?
To celebrate the Eucharist, “to eat his flesh and drink his blood”, means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done.
Our society desperately needs this sign, and young people need it even more so, tempted as they often are by the illusion of an easy and comfortable life, by drugs and pleasure-seeking, only to find themselves in a spiral of despair, meaninglessness and violence. It is urgent to change direction and to turn to Christ. This is the way of justice, solidarity and commitment to building a society and a future worthy of the human person.
This is our Eucharist, this is the answer that Christ wants from us, from you young people at the closing of your Jubilee. Jesus is no lover of half measures, and he does not hesitate to pursue us with the question: “Will you also go away?” In the presence of Christ, the Bread of Life, we too want to say today with Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Dear friends, when you go back home, set the Eucharist at the centre of your personal life and community life: love the Eucharist, adore the Eucharist and celebrate it, especially on Sundays, the Lord’s Day. Live the Eucharist by testifying to God’s love for every person.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 20 August 2000)
At the conclusion of this Eucharistic celebration our thoughts turn to the “Woman” about whom Saint Paul spoke in the second reading of today’s Mass (Galatians 4:4): the Blessed Virgin Mary, on whose feast of the Assumption we began this Fifteenth World Youth Day. With her loving and motherly presence Mary has guided these days in Rome, days of an intense experience of faith. We wish to express all our gratitude to her for her “yes” which marked the beginning of the “adventure” of our Redemption.
As I ask the Blessed Virgin to watch over all the youth of the world, boys and girls alike, I express heartfelt thanks to you who have taken part in this Fifteenth World Youth Day.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 20 August 2000)
1. My thoughts turn once more to the current process of European integration and especially to the determinant role of its institutions.
I am thinking in the first place of the European Union, involved in seeking new forms of openness, encounter and collaboration between its member States.
I think, moreover, of the Council of Europe, with its headquarters in Strasbourg and of the attached European Court of Human Rights, which carry out the noble task of creating a Europe of freedom, justice and solidarity.
Finally, it is necessary to mention the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which is committed to promoting the cause of the fundamental freedom of the persons and nations of the continent.
2. I follow in prayer the laborious drafting of the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union, now being studied by the governments of the various countries. I am confident that those who are devoting their energies to it will always be motivated by the conviction that "a proper ordering of society must be rooted in authentic ethical and civil values shared as widely as possible by its citizens" (Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 114).
For her part, the Catholic Church is convinced that the Gospel of Christ, which has been a unifying element of the European peoples for many centuries should be and continue to be today too an inexhaustible source of spirituality and fraternity. Taking note of this is for the benefit of all, and an explicit recognition of the Christian roots of Europe in the Treaty represents the principle guarantee for the continent's future.
3. Let us invoke Mary Most Holy, so that in the building of the Europe of today and tomorrow, that spiritual inspiration which is indispensable to ensure authentic action at the service of humanity, may never be lacking. Such an inspiration finds in the Gospel a sure guarantee in favour of the freedom, justice and peace of all, believers and non-believers.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 24 August 2003)
In one of his famous discourses, St Bernard compares Mary to the Star that navigators seek so as not to lose their course: "Whoever you are who perceive yourself during this mortal existence to be drifting in treacherous waters at the mercy of the winds and the waves rather than walking on firm ground, turn your eyes not away from the splendour of this guiding star, unless you wish to be submerged by the storm!... Look at the star, call upon Mary.... With her for a guide, you will never go astray; ...under her protection, you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you will not grow weary; if she shows you favour you will reach the goal (Hom. Super Missus Est, II, 17).
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 20 August 2006)
Dear brothers and sisters, what happened in Mary also applies in ways that are different yet real to every man and to every woman because God asks each one of us to welcome him, to put at his disposal our heart and our body, our entire existence, our flesh the Bible says so that he may dwell in the world. He calls us to be united with him in the sacrament of the Eucharist, Bread broken for the life of the world, to form together the Church, his Body in history. And if we say "yes", like Mary, indeed to the extent of our "yes", this mysterious exchange is also brought about for us and in us. We are taken up into the divinity of the One who took on our humanity. The Eucharist is the means, the instrument of this reciprocal transformation which always has God as its goal, and as the main actor. He is the Head and we are the limbs, he is the Vine and we the branches. Whoever eats of this Bread and lives in communion with Jesus, letting himself be transformed by him and in him, is saved from eternal death: naturally he dies like everyone and also shares in the mystery of Christ's Passion and Crucifixion, but he is no longer a slave to death and will rise on the Last Day to enjoy the eternal celebration together with Mary and with all the Saints.
This mystery, this celebration of God, begins here below: it is the mystery of faith, hope and love that is celebrated in life and in the liturgy, especially that of the Eucharist, and is expressed in fraternal communion and in service for our neighbour. Let us pray the Blessed Virgin to help us always to nourish ourselves faithfully with the Bread of eternal life, so that, already on this earth, we may experience the joy of Heaven.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 16 August 2009)
The people, and the disciples themselves, were enthusiastic when he performed miraculous signs; the multiplication of the loaves and fishes was a clear revelation that he was the Messiah, so that the crowd would have liked to carry Jesus in triumph and proclaim him King of Israel. But this was not what Jesus wanted. With his long address he dampens the enthusiasm and incites much dissent. In explaining the image of the bread, he affirms that he has been sent to offer his own life and he who wants to follow him must join him in a deep and personal way, participating in his sacrifice of love. Thus Jesus was to institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, so that his disciples themselves might share in his love — this was crucial — and, as one body united with him, might extend his mystery of salvation in the world.
In listening to this address the people understood that Jesus was not the Messiah they wanted, one who would aspire to an earthly throne. He did not seek approval to conquer Jerusalem; rather he wanted to go to the Holy City to share the destiny of the prophets: to give his life for God and for the people. Those loaves, broken for thousands, were not meant to result in a triumphal march but to foretell the sacrifice on the Cross when Jesus was to become Bread, Body and Blood, offered in expiation. Jesus therefore gave the address to bring the crowds down to earth and mostly to encourage his disciples to make a decision. In fact from that moment many of them no longer followed him.
Dear friends, let us once again be filled with wonder by Christ’s words. He, a grain of wheat scattered in the furrows of history, is the first fruits of the new humanity, freed from the corruption of sin and death. And let us rediscover the beauty of the Sacrament of the Eucharist which expresses all God’s humility and holiness. His making himself small, God makes himself small, a fragment of the universe to reconcile all in his love. May the Virgin Mary, who gave the world the Bread of Life, teach us to live in ever deeper union with him.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 19 August 2012)
Regarding the Holy Mass, one sometimes hears this objection: “Of what use is Mass? I go to Church when I feel like it, and I pray better in solitude”. But the Eucharist is not a private prayer or a beautiful spiritual exercise, it is not a simple commemoration of what Jesus did at the Last Supper. We say, in order to fully understand, that the Eucharist is “a remembrance”, that is, a gesture which renders real and present the event of Jesus’ death and resurrection: the bread really is his Body given up for us, the wine really is his Blood poured out for us.
The Eucharist is Jesus himself who gives himself entirely to us. Nourishing ourselves of Him and abiding in Him through Eucharistic Communion, if we do so with faith, transforms our life, transforms it into a gift to God and to our brothers and sisters. Nourishing ourselves of that “Bread of Life” means entering into harmony with the heart of Christ, assimilating his choices, his thoughts, his behaviour. It means entering into a dynamism of love and becoming people of peace, people of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of sharing in solidarity. The very things that Jesus did.
Jesus concludes his discourse with these words: “he who eats this bread will live for ever” (John 6:58). Yes, living in real communion with Jesus on this earth lets us pass from death to life. Heaven begins precisely in this communion with Jesus.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 16 August 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 19 August 2018