19th Sunday in Ordinary Time A Reflection on Kings 19:4-8, Ephesians 4:30-5:2, John 6:41-51 by Sister Anne Madeline Brost, OSB

Sisters, we cannot rest under our broom trees! Like Elijah we must awaken and get on with our journey!

I am thinking that our year of Covid quarantine has been our time of rest under a broom tree. During this year I have come to know myself and you better, and I hope you know yourselves and others more deeply, too. These months we have rested from many activities outside the Monastery. Now we must take nourishment and move on. We have the Bread from Heaven. We have the New Covenant made with Jesus’ death and rising. We have the bread from Heaven to share.

We must stop murmuring, complaining. Benedict mentions complaining fourteen times in the rule. He knew how easy it is to complain and murmur.

We know how the Israelites murmured and complained, and how poor Moses tried to quiet the people.  See what happened to them! Miriam looked like a stone pillar, and the people had to keep wandering for 40 years! The Israelites had made a Covenant with God that God would lead them to a new land flowing with milk and honey. They ate manna in the desert. That 1st Covenant died. God makes a new Covenant with those who follow Jesus. The 1st Covenant had many laws. The New Covenant has only one—the Law of Love.

The persons of the 1st Covenant had manna in the desert, and they are still searching, waiting. We of the New covenant have the Bread from Heaven. We have found God in Jesus. Jesus shows us how to live this Law of Love by living among us. He tells us to look within ourselves to find Love, God.

“Be still and know that I am God” from Psalm 46, was written in 1st Covenant times.  The Psalm continues, “exalted among the nations, exalted over the earth!” The people of the 1st Covenant found the Divine outside of themselves. God was a warrior, fighting for them. 

Today, we still want God on our side, but perhaps we have grown, evolved, in our understanding of the Divine. We find the Divine in ourselves, in one another. Jesus, in the eucharist has given us himself. He has given us the “Bread from Heaven”.

We cannot complain!

“Be friends with one another, and kind…be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in Love…”

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