Browsing Pastor's Notes

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, For this is my Body

Take this, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of my Blood

In advance of the National Eucharistic Congress this July, I’m continuing to look at some of the Scriptural precursors of the Eucharist. There are more connections between the Eucharist and the Israelite’s time in the desert sojourn to the Promise Land, but it might be good to proceed to the Prophets. Let’s look for a moment at the greatest of the Prophets, Elijah – who appeared with Moses (representing the Law) to Jesus at the Transfiguration.

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” Then the disciples asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.                                                                                                                                                Matthew 17:10

John the Baptist certainly prepared the way for Jesus in the immediate sense. As such he was Elijah come again. But Elijah, in his own time & life, represented Jesus Christ and the Eucharist particularly in three incidents that happened during his ministry for the Lord God.

First, when the Israelites had abandoned their Covenant relationship with God, Elijah prayed for a drought to admonish the people. As the drought spread, so too did hunger. Elijah, by God’s direction, headed out to the desert and settled near a wadi (a stream bed). “Ravens brought him [Elijah] bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the wadi” (I Kings 17:6). Elijah became utterly dependent upon God for his daily bread. As he remained faithful to the Covenant, in contrast to the people, he received bread and meat. In this way, Elijah represented and re-presented the Israelites in the desert, since just as the Israelites had received Manna & Quail back when they too faithfully followed the Covenant in their desert sojourn. This dependence on the part of Elijah upon God for daily food represents by his awaiting his daily bread, to receive the water of life, to receive the meat (the Body), is representative of our dependence upon Christ when we are faithful. Then too, God gives us our daily bread (the Eucharist) in the desert difficulty of the world.

Second, after Elijah’s time in the wadi, Elijah journeyed to the gentile land of Sidon at the promptings of God. There he encounters the widow of Zarephath (I King 17:8-24). When she offers the last of her flour and oil to bring Elijah a small hearth cake & drink, she is rewarded with a jar of oil that does not run dry, nor a jar of flour running empty. Her gift of all – like the the widow’s mite – to the prophet is rewarded with all she needs for nourishment for herself, her only son, and Elijah. Again, we see the parallels to the Eucharist. As we give, we receive. As we receive, we give. And God’s grace will never be depleted when we give all in faith, hope & charity.

Third, after the drought ends, Elijah returns to Israel to confront the false gods of baal. When he is victorious, the gentile queen Jezebel seeks to kill Elijah for killing her false prophets, so he flees for his life. While hiding, God through an angel, miraculously provides a ‘hearth cake and jug of water’. He is instructed to eat and drink, least the journey be too long (I Kings 19:1-8). After doing so, he has strength to travel 40 days to the Mountain of God. This is what God does for us when we receive the Eucharist. We are strengthened to make the long, often difficult, journey to the God’s Holy Mountain – foreshadowing Heaven (Isaiah 25).


Thanks for your patience while we celebrate Mass together in the Gym. I realize Mass in a gym is not ideal but it is still the same Eucharistic Lord present to us as we gather to give our Thanksgiving to God.


Celebrating 70 years in our church together as the Holy Family of God


Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.

Holy Family, Fed on the Bread of Life, Pray for us.


~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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