Saint for the day: Martin 1 (d. 655)
Scripture readings for today’s Liturgy: Acts 8:1-8 – Psalm 66 – John 6:35-40
“Let my mouth be filled with your praise, that I may sing aloud; my lips shall shout for joy, when I sing to you, alleluia.” (today’s Entrance Antiphon)
In the opening of today’s Holy Gospel St. John repeats one of his frequent “I Am” themes with its emphasis on “I AM the Bread of Life.” And he goes on, saying, “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me.” These statements are the continuation of the “Feeding of the Multitude” where you’ve heard me comment on the fact that the “gathering of the fragments” came to be a euphemism for the celebration of the Eucharist in the early Church. That’s a comforting theme that we are “gathered together” around Jesus, the Bread of Life.
But when we read today’s first Scripture reading from Acts there is the phrase, “Now those who had been scattered went about preaching…” (Acts 8:5) This seems to be another reminder that even though we are called to gather around Jesus as the Bread of Life we’re not supposed to just sit there gawking but we are to be scattered out to the far corners of the world proclaiming what we have come to believe in. So, in some senses, we can’t just sit there basking in the “light of His Glory” but have to take that “light” out into the world that is shrouded in darkness.
This is one of the conundrums of Dominican Spirituality: “how to be active while at the same time being contemplative.” In contemplation we are given a “gift of insight” into the deeper meaning of Jesus being the Bread of Life and are reminded that God has given us gifts – not that we should “gloat” but, rather that we are sent out to share and give those gifts to others.
So our prayer today needs to be, “Lord, help us to be “gathered” around you as the “Bread of Life” and let us be willing to be those ‘fragments’ that are ”scattered” out into the world. Amen!