In the readings for Sunday, August 5, God gives us good food so that we can accomplish his works.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way of righteousness and holiness of truth.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
Are we there yet? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! He’s poking me! She’s thinking about me! Long trips are hard. It was no different for Moses taking the Hebrew people from slavery to a home of their own than it is for parents taking children on an nice vacation or day trip. Traveling can make people cranky. The Hebrews were so cranky they blamed Moses and said they’d rather be slaves than be on that trip. God took care of them and gave them a food called manna so that they wouldn’t give up.
Today’s Gospel begins a five week breakdown of the “Bread of Life Discourse” which is chapter six of the Gospel of John. Jesus had just fed thousands of people in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and now they followed him because they wanted more food. He told them that regular food is good, but it’s not enough. We need to accept the food that God offers us in Jesus — the Eucharist — so that we won’t get too tired on our journeys and so that we can help people along on their journeys, too. When we let God feed us spiritually, we will always have what we need.
Do you get cranky on long car rides or trips? What can you do to make the trips more pleasant?
Right after Jesus healed a whole bunch of people, taught them about God in a way that they could understand, and then fed five thousand people out of basically nothing, they asked him if he could give them proof that he was “something to believe in.” Are you ever split between knowing that God makes miracles every day and wanting more proof? Why do you think you need more proof?
Regarding Paul’s letter today, what are some ways that you, throughout your life, have “put away the old self of your former way of life” and “put on the new self?” What events made you make those changes?
Take a day trip this week. Or if you happen to be on vacation, find ways to make the travelling part of the trip more fun. Maybe say a prayer together before you set off, pack some snacks, and prepare some games or a sing-along for the ride.
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”