In year B of the lectionary's 3 year rotation (A-Matthew, B-Mark, C-Luke), St. John bumps St. Mark for a 5 week stretch (the 17th through the 21st Sundays).
The fourth gospel doesn't have its own place in the three year rotation but John does appear 70 times in the other three years (mostly in the seasons of Lent and Easter): 30 times in year B and about 20 times each in years A and C.
The 5 weeks of John in year B begin with this week's story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Jn 6:1-15). The following four Sundays include what's known as the "Bread of Life discourse" (Jn 6:22-69). Keep in mind that John's account of the last supper tells the story of the washing of feet (Jn 13) but does not mention the bread and wine of the Eucharist. This lengthy section of John 6 is John's contribution to our scriptural basis for Eucharistic theology.
This weekend, July 29, brings us to the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scriptures offer us more than enough to eat both in the lesson from Second Kings and in the gospel from John. Sandwiched between these two stories of feeding a multitude comes a passage from Ephesians on the source and importance of our unity as Christians, sharing one faith, one Lord, one baptism and one Father of us all.
The scriptures for the day can be found here along with background material on these texts. There's a young boy in the gospel story and you may be bringing a young girl or boy to Mass this weekend. If that's the case, look here for help in preparing them to hear the Word.
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