Word for the Weekend - August 9

Elijah in the Desert by Dieric the Elder Bouts
(Click on image for larger version)

Ahead is the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time and just a click away are the readings for the coming weekend along with background material on the texts. Will you be taking children to Mass on Sunday (or Saturday evening)? Here are some hints for helping them prepare to hear the Word.

Ever feel like just giving up? So did the prophet Elijah and the first scripture this weekend tells his story and how the Lord's nourishment restored him and set him back on the the right path. Elijah was saved by food from heaven and the gospel passage from John (remember, we're taking a summer break from the Marcan sequence) reminds us that Jesus is "the living bread that came down from heaven and that whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that he will give is his flesh for the life of the world.”

The second scripture echoes the Lord's sacrifice reminding us that "Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma."

This is the second weekend of my vacation and I won't be preaching on these texts. If I were, I think I might take my leads from the Elijah's being rescued from the depths of despair and the sweet aroma of Jesus offering himself to the Father, for us. Could it be that we miss the hearth cakes and jugs the Father provides for us, sometimes sleeping through his coming and leaving those gifts for us? If we were more familiar with sacrifice as a fragrant aroma, might the scent of God's gifts and grace more readily wake us to their presence? And how might we come to understand sacrifice (Christ's and our own) as a pleasing fragrance offered to God?



  1. I haven't read the texts yet but the metaphor of the fragrance is intriguing. I will soon be able to read and pray on that.

  2. how might I come to understand sacrifice as a pleasing fragrance offered to God?
    ...I struggle with this, and I am afraid I don't know...

    ...could it, at least partially, possibly be like when we do something for another, even something small, a kind word or little help, and they give us a little smile and/or a thank you (or any connection at all)...
    could that be what this means, at least in part, in some small way?

    this weekend I had more than usual interactions or encounters with random people (either needing something small, like directions, or offering me a kind word)- and although I tried in each of the situations, because I was on guard or even a bit defensive, I'm afraid that I was not wakeful to the presence of them as God's gifts and grace.


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