Jesus said to the crowd, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life….” We can hardly blame the crowd for their shock at this statement — eating the Flesh and drinking the Blood of our Lord should cause us a bit of a shock. Yet how easy it is to show up at Mass Sunday after Sunday, receiving the Eucharist as simply part of a weekly routine.
If we really spent time contemplating the gift our Lord is offering us in this sacrament, we would be awestruck at the
love and power in this gift. Through it, our Lord is giving us the very best He has to give — Himself. Not even the greatest theological scholar or the holiest of saints can fully understand this mystery.
You sit down at a restaurant and order drinks and an appetizer. Then you order an entrée with a salad. When all of that has been consumed, you order a dessert. You leave after having had a good time, but your pants don’t fit so well now. You are so full you regret ordering all those courses. Your eyes were bigger than your stomach. You ordered what you wanted and not what you needed.
In our daily lives, we find ourselves wanting many things. We desire outcomes and good fortunes that we think will make all the difference. However, oftentimes when we receive these things, we only find ourselves wanting more. Worse yet, if we do not get them, we can see our lives as incomplete.READ MORE
Have you ever approached a hushed group and were certain they were talking about you? It's an uncomfortable feeling to catch people murmuring about what you did, said, or didn't do. It breeds division and exclusion. In today's Gospel, Jesus invites us to just the opposite.
The reading opens with the crowds "murmuring" their doubts about Jesus after he has proclaimed himself the Bread of Life. "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? how can he say 'I have come down from heaven?'" In his response, Jesus brings up the Israelites and the manna God brought them in the desert. If you turn back to the story in Exodus, you'll see another similar word: murmuring. As the going got tough, the Israelites doubted Moses and God's plan to protect and care for them as a chosen people. Here, Jesus proposes a difficult theological concept. Jesus himself is "the living bread" and "flesh for the life of the world."
This is not an exclusive concept. "Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me." Why? Because "the Father who sent me draw(s) him." The next time you're at Mass, take a few moments to watch the communion line. Young and old, families and singles, diverse races and cultures and stories? we are all drawn to the Eucharistic table.READ MORE
As human beings, we seem to have a wide array of insatiable desires. We long for more money, more time, and more stuff. We spend millions of dollars each year on remedies for our overeating. We look to our neighbors to see what they have that we want so we can keep up with them in the race toward happiness. We look for instant gratification only to find that our hunger for whatever it is remains intact.
Stewardship is the pathway to curbing all those cravings. On this journey, we let go of things that keep us tied down to this world and tied up in our sin. All that we have becomes instruments for God to use in our lives and the lives of our neighbors. When we have detached from enough in this world, we find out the truth: Nothing on earth can truly satisfy our cravings completely. Jesus Christ is the sole answer for our needs and desires.READ MORE
Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger? Even the most independent among us likes to make changes and have an impact on others. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus demonstrates one of his most iconic miracles -- the multiplication of the loaves. It is a sign of the institution of the Eucharist, when we are fed not by bread but by the Body of Christ.READ MORE
Ray was born and raised in the California Bay Area. He is the youngest of 6 kids! Ray excelled in football, wrestling, and baseball all throughout grade school and high school. Ray grew up as a Parishioner of Saint Martins in San Jose! He has over 25 years work experience.
While in the Bay Area, he was a contractor for some of Silicon Valley’s finest corporations. He was onsite working in facilities at Apple Computer and Oracle Corporation to name a couple. He was hired as a Facilities Manager for a Software gaming company. He spent 6 years with them. He moved to Arizona in 2003. He then went to work as a Service Technician for a Phoenix based medical equipment company. He was with them for 15 years.
Ray and his wife have 4 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Ray is an avid SF Giants, SF 49’rs, and Golden State Warriors Fan. He loves the beach ,camping, traveling, sports and being outdoors.
"He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two." This Sunday we read the first sending of the Apostles to preach, teach, and heal. For many of us, it can be easy to think we "just don't have enough" to be disciples and evangelists ourselves. We don't have enough education and training. We don't have enough experience talking to people about Jesus. We don't pray enough. We don't have enough faith.READ MORE
Today's Gospel offers a rare framework - a story in a story. Most of the healing miracles are standalone encounters. One person approaches Jesus, demonstrates faith, and is healed. The evangelist tells the next story. This Gospel, however, is different. Jesus is on his way to heal one person, a young girl of twelve, and is interrupted on his journey by "a woman afflicted with hemorrhages." She bravely approaches Jesus in a crowd, despite being ritually unclean from her bleeding, and stretches out to touch his cloak. She is healed! Jesus meets her eye, confirms her faith, and continues on to resurrect the young girl.
Reading this passage, it might be easier to identify with one story - the long-suffering woman or the young, innocent girl - and to move past the other. But here they sit side by side. The girl is twelve. The woman has been suffering for twelve years. For the Gospel writers, number parallels have deep symbolic meaning.READ MORE