The pallium is a special collar worn by metropolitan archbishops over the chasuble at Mass. This narrow white woolen band circles the neck and drops black-tipped pendants down the chest and back. The pallium is decorated with six black crosses and pierced with three decorative pins.READ MORE
God gives us strength for our journeys. Elijah is a great example. As prophets are wont to do, Elijah as angered the authorities. He flees into the desert to escape the king, but is quickly overwhelmed and despairs, praying for death. The angel of the Lord cares for him, giving him food and water and prodding him to continue. Through God's generosity, Elijah is strengthened in body and strengthened in resolve, able to complete his pilgrimage. God 's most generous gift, of course, is Jesus, God's only Son, who speaks in similar terms in the Gospel: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever" (John 6:51). Jesus, the Bread of Life, gives us the ultimate gift—his life—strengthening us for our ultimate journey. Life is difficult, so we need that strength, as Saint Paul well knows. Paul implores the Ephesians to imitate God in the way we treat one another. Like Christ, we are encouraged to live lives of self-sacrifice.
What do you most need strength for your journey? Do you pray for strength in times of need?READ MORE
Reading I: 1 Kings 19:4-8 - Elijah's flight to Horeb
Reading II: Ephesians 4:30—5:2 - Vices to be avoided
Gospel: John 6:41-51 - Discourse on the bread of life, continued
Key Passage: Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (John 6:51)
Adults: When has the bread of life given you the strength you needed to face a difficult situation in your life?
Kids: What will you ask Jesus to help you with when you receive Holy Communion this week?READ MORE
The cincture is a rope worn around the waist of a liturgical minister wearing an alb. (An alb is the long white vestment that covers the minster from neck to ankle.) The cincture functions like a belt. It is sometimes called a girdle, but because that word refers to another type of garment in English, it is rarely used. The cincture is not the same as the fascia, a wide belt worn over a cassock.READ MORE
We hunger. Today’s readings point to that basic human need in all its meanings. In the first reading, the Israelites are so hungry that they tell Moses they’d rather have remained in slavery when at least they had food to eat. Seeing nothing but desert around them, they were convinced they would starve to death. But God provided food—manna and quail—that would sustain them on their journey. Moreover, God provided hope. In giving sustenance to them in their desperation, God restored hope to a people who needed a reason to go on. Last week we saw Jesus feed more than five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. But today we hear Jesus say, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life” (John 6:27). Naturally, the crowd wants this magic food. Then Jesus reveals its source: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35). Now it is apparent that Jesus is not just addressing our physical hunger. He gives our lives sustenance, gives our lives hope, gives our lives meaning. In short, Jesus gives our lives life.
What gives your life meaning? In what ways is God the source?READ MORE
Reading I: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 - Manna in the desert
Reading II: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 - Renewal in Christ
Gospel: John 6:24-35 - Discourse on the bread of life
Key Passage: So they said to Jesus, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?" (John 6:30)
Adults: When has your faith helped you believe without "seeing signs" from God?
Kids: Who helps you believe in things you cannot see?