HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B.
1 Kgs 19:4-8
THEME: THE BREAD THAT HEALS
Beloved in Christ, as we continue our reflection on the bread of life discourse in John 6, the Church invites us to focus on the healing effects of this bread this morning. Therefore, I have chosen ” THE BREAD THAT HEALS” as our theme for this sunday. This is to help us appreciate our need for the Eucharist.
Beloved, our first reading from the book of 1st kings tells the story of the prophet Elijah, this time not as a powerful prophet but as a depressed prophet. Elijah was finding it difficult to prophesy, for no one heeded his prophecies. He now finds his ministry very difficult and in 1 kings 19: 4 he prayed for death, saying this is enough and that he was no better than his fathers, so God should take his life.
He felt hopeless and helpless and wanted to die. For life, he says is not worth living. But in 1 kings 19:8, we read God through an angel brought him food that strengthened and as a consequence Elijah walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
Beloved in Christ, it is this idea of the food that strengthens and nourishes us that Jesus takes up in the gospel reading of today. For in John 6:50, he says’ this is the bread that comes down from heaven and the one who eats this bread will not die’. The bread means both the teaching and the words of Jesus as well as His body.
Beloved in Christ, many times I have heard people say to me:
Father,there is no reason to continue living, I am tired of this life, God does not hear me, I feel like dying. These statements are signs of accepting defeat and a loss of hope in divine providence and restoration.
My dear friend, there is good news for you today and that news is that there is hope in Jesus who draws us to himself to nourish us.
Also just as God was able to help Elijah ‘s depression, the food that came down from heaven which is Jesus Christ can heal us , sometimes physically, but most often spiritually.
Beloved , it is therefore ironic that a person can sometimes walk in the rain or sun or a long distance just to come to church but will find not the strength to move from his or her pew to the altar for Holy Communion.
Beloved, if you are not a communicant I urge you to reflect on why during the course of this week, for the Holy Eucharist is the bread that heals us.