Fr. T. Coonan Homily 8-5-2012 God Gives what we need for our Renewal in Christ
The focus of today's readings is simple: God supplies our need for our Renewal in Christ. Yesterday I walked through our rectory's vegetable garden and was affirmed again in the truth that God is a giving God: after I gathered in the huge cucumbers and numerous tomatoes, I remembered that all we had to do was plant the seeds, pull the weeds, and water the soil (sometimes God did that for me). God provides the rest, and I reap his generous gifts.
The one need of ours that is the greatest is found in the second reading today from the letter to the Ephesians. We are all longing for Transformation in Christ, both for ourselves and for the world: we need, for our own good and the good of others, to put off the 'old self' in Adam and put on the 'new man' in Christ Jesus. Sin beats us up more than anything, it makes us who we never were created to be. In order for us to “accomplish the works of God” like the Jews ask of Jesus, we have to rely on Him and on His gifts. We have to become like Jesus. He will always provide.
As Jesus tells the Jews that He Himself is the Bread of Life, He is begging them: “Don't come to me for your physical needs alone...nor even primarily; come to me for eternal food, spiritual food which never perishes.” Pray for holiness: theological virtues, moral virtues, (strength of character), promptings of the Holy Spirit.
We must cooperate with God's grace. We must choose. We must show our devotion – choosing God for His own sake. Lastly, we must never grumble! The Israelites are believing the lie of the world – so easy to believe because of the ability of the physical realm to overcome our senses and absorb our attention. “Don't seek me for what I can give you, seek me for who I am myself.”
Eucharist is the pinnacle of God's gifts to provide our needs. In God's gifts of Himself to us He is essentially saying: “See, I am holding nothing back from you; I give you everything.” Indeed God is showing us that in God we have everything we need. May the Eucharist, the gift of Jesus Himself, transform us that we may have the Grace to put off the 'old self' and become a new creation in our Lord.