Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual help | August 1, 2021
“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the Lord, am your God.”
– Exodus 16:12
Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings to you as we move into this last month of Summer, filled with moments of rest and rejuvenation!
Ask yourself, if Jesus were to appear before you right now, how would you address him? Would you speak to him like a close friend, or would your interaction be more formal, like someone addressing the King of the Universe? The Gospel offers excellent examples of both possibilities. Consider St. Dismas. more commonly known to us as the Good Thief. While experiencing the same execution as Jesus, Dismas on a cross next to Jesus speaks to him with the familiarity of a friend, remaining the only individual in the Gospel to address our Lord simply as “Jesus” (Luke 23:42). Then, there is the excellent example of an individual understanding Jesus’ supreme hierarchy provided by St. Thomas, who, after doubting the other disciples concerning the Resurrection, exclaims the great proclamation of faith at seeing Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28).
Somewhere in the middle, though, we find those in today’s Gospel reading, with a lukewarmness towards Christ, that does not seem right. Did the crowd not understand Jesus’ teaching? At first, the group responds with questions while addressing Jesus as a teacher, with the title of Rabbi. Then, after referencing the miracle of God feeding the Hebrews “manna in the desert” as they departed Egypt, they request the same blessing of manna, asking, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
In today’s world, it’s not hard to find ourselves in some kind of constant hunger. At times, we think we can fill the craving with a good meal, at other times with a good story, or even a friendship. But true hunger is only met when we fill ourselves with the presence of Christ – made complete by a miracle that is beyond the manna that the Lord had fed to the people. Jesus’ response is difficult to understand – which is why the Eucharist remains a miracle. He does not shun our grumblings or our misguided petitions. He points us toward himself as he taught, “I am the Bread of Life.”
While journeying on our discipleship pathway, BELIEVE is our invitation to encounter the Lord, to believe in someone greater than ourselves and trust Jesus as the source of endless happiness and true love. I invite you to go deeper, to open your heart to be consumed by the mystery we celebrate in the Eucharist as Jesus feeds us with his very Body and Blood. The creation of Our Chapel of the Good Shepherd was a labor of love by OLPH parishioners in response to the many years of Eucharistic Adoration. You understood our community should have a space to encounter the Lord present to us in the Blessed Sacrament at all times. I encourage and re-invite you to take advantage of this tremendous blessing and come gaze upon the face of our Savior, calling out to him with the intimacy of a close friend and with the deep reverence of his disciple. The chapel is open daily from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm for all visitors. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance (Adoration) from Wednesdays at 9 am through Saturdays at 8 am. Additionally, Private prayer in the chapel is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Please click here to gain after-hours (between 8 pm and 7 am) access.
May we truly find ourselves fed and satisfied in the presence of our Savior!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett