18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Green.
First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4,12-15
The Lord sends manna from heaven
The whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not.
‘I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, “Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.”’
And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That’ said Moses to them ‘is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 77(78):3-4,23-25,54
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
The things we have heard and understood, the things our fathers have told us,
these we will not hide from their children but will tell them to the next generation:
the glories of the Lord and his might and the marvellous deeds he has done,
Yet he commanded the clouds above and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna for their food, and gave them bread from heaven.
Mere men ate the bread of angels. He sent them abundance of food;
So he brought them to his holy land, to the mountain which his right hand had won.
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17,20-24
Put aside your old self and put on the new
I want to urge you in the name of the Lord, not to go on living the aimless kind of life that pagans live. Now that is hardly the way you have learnt from Christ, unless you failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
No one can come to the Father except through me.
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Gospel: John 6:24-35
It is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven; I am the bread of life
When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
"Teacher, where are you staying? ... Come and see" (John 1:38-39). The theme of the 12th World Youth Day is an explicit and pressing invitation to turn our gaze to the Lord, to seek him in every way and to follow him with constant fidelity. Only through Christ can we give life to a world of authentic peace and fruitful reconciliation.
Jesus is the peace that reconciles the human being, individuals and families, nations and peoples. At the time of his Passion he prayed "that they may all be one" (John 17:21) and entrusted to his disciples in every age the task of being architects of this supernatural unity and artisans of true and lasting peace.
Dear young people, you need peace to build your life! Draw close to Jesus, the Teacher and Lord of that peace no one else in the world can give you. Learning from him, promote the "dialogue of conversion", which is as it were a "completely interior spiritual space in which Christ, by the power of the Spirit, leads them all [the Christian communities], without exception, to examine themselves before the Father and to ask themselves whether they have been faithful to his plan for the Church" (Ut unum sint, n. 82).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 10 August 1997)
The feast of the Transfiguration calls to mind my beloved Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, who died precisely on 6 August in 1978, which was a Sunday then, as it is today.
He was an inspired preacher of the Transfiguration, in which he contemplated the whole mystery of Christ, true man and true God. With fervent love and wise teaching Paul VI showed Christ, "Teacher, Pastor, Light of the soul" to contemporary man, who is often bewildered by thousands of deceptive attractions. "He is necessary", he said in a homily, "and we cannot do without him; he is our fortune, joy and happiness, our promise and hope; our way, our truth and our life" (Insegnamenti, III , 1192).
May the Virgin Mary, whom Paul VI revered with filial affection, help all Christians to be faithful witnesses to the Lord. May she also support the efforts being made by Christians of various denominations to advance courageously on the path of full unity.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 6 August 2000)
To serve the Gospel of hope: this is the Church's mission also in Europe. The Church carries out this mission, accompanying the proclamation of hope with concrete charitable initiatives. Throughout the centuries, this has been the case: the duty of evangelization is sustained by effective human promotion. Putting herself at the service of charity, the Church has nourished and is nourishing the culture of solidarity, cooperating to give life once again to the universal values of human coexistence (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 84).
Today too, it is necessary to "give renewed hope to the poor", so that in welcoming and serving them, it is Christ himself who welcomes and serves (cf. Matthew 25: 40). Many challenges in this regard confront European believers. Today, there are many categories of persons who are poor: among them, the unemployed, the sick, isolated or abandoned elderly persons, the homeless, marginalized youth, immigrants and refugees.
A service of love also means to re-propose faithfully the truth about matrimony and the family, to educate young people, engaged couples and families themselves to live and spread the "Gospel of life", fighting against the "culture of death". Only with everyone's contribution will it be possible to build a "city worthy of man" in Europe and in the world, and a more just and stable international order.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 6 August 2000)
Light, it is said in the Psalms, is the mantle with which God covers himself (cf. Psalm 104: 2). In the Book of Wisdom, the symbolism of light is used to describe the very essence of God: wisdom, an outpouring of his glory, is "a reflection of eternal light" superior to any created light (cf. Wisdom 7: 27, 29ff.).
In the New Testament, it is Christ who constitutes the full manifestation of God's light. His Resurrection defeated the power of the darkness of evil forever. With the Risen Christ, truth and love triumph over deceit and sin. In him, God's light henceforth illumines definitively human life and the course of history: "I am the light of the world", he says in the Gospel, "he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8: 12).
In our time too, we urgently need to emerge from the darkness of evil, to experience the joy of the children of light! May Mary, whom we commemorated yesterday with special devotion on the annual Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major, obtain this gift for us. May the Blessed Virgin also obtain peace for the peoples of the Middle East, overwhelmed by fratricidal fighting! We know well that peace is first and foremost God's gift to be implored insistently in prayer, but at this time let us also remember that it is a commitment for all people of good will. May no one shirk this duty!
Thus, in the face of the bitter observation that so far the voices asking for an immediate ceasefire in that tormented region have gone unheard, I feel the urgent need to renew my pressing appeal in this regard, asking everyone to make an effective contribution to build a just and lasting peace. I entrust this renewed appeal to the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 6 August 2006)
Dear brothers and sisters, the Year for Priests that we are celebrating is a precious opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the value of the mission of priests in the Church and in the world. In this regard, useful ideas for reflection can be found in remembering the saints whom the Church holds up to us daily. In these first days of the month of August, for example, we commemorate some who are real models of spirituality and priestly devotion. Yesterday was the liturgical Memorial of St Alphonsus Mary de' Liguori, a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, a great teacher of moral theology and a model of Christian and pastoral virtues who was ever attentive to the religious needs of the people. Today we are contemplating St Francis of Assisi's ardent love for the salvation of souls which every priest must always foster. In fact today is the feast of the "Pardon of Assisi", which St Francis obtained from Pope Honorious III in the year 1216, after having a vision while he was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula. Jesus appeared to him in his glory, with the Virgin Mary on his right and surrounded by many Angels. They asked him to express a wish and Francis implored a "full and generous pardon" for all those who would visit that church who "repented and confessed their sins". Having received papal approval, the Saint did not wait for any written document but hastened to Assisi and when he reached the Portiuncula announced the good news: "Friends, the Lord wants to have us all in Heaven!". Since then, from noon on 1 August to midnight on the second, it has been possible to obtain, on the usual conditions, a Plenary Indulgence, also for the dead, on visiting a parish church or a Franciscan one.
What can be said of St John Mary Vianney whom we shall commemorate on 4 August? It was precisely to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death that I announced the Year for Priests. I promise to speak again of this humble parish priest who constitutes a model of priestly life not only for parish priests but for all priests at the Catechesis of the General Audience next Wednesday. Then on 7 August it will be the Memorial of St Cajetan da Thiene, who used to like to say: "it is not with sentimental love but rather with loving actions that souls are purified". And the following day, 8 August, the Church will point out as a model St Dominic, of whom it has been written that he only "opened his mouth either to speak to God in prayer or to speak of God". Lastly, I cannot forget to mention the great figure of Pope Montini, Paul VI, the 31st anniversary of whose death, here in Castel Gandolfo, occurs on 6 August. His life, so profoundly priestly and so rich in humanity, continues to be a gift to the Church for which we thank God. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, help priests to be totally in love with Christ, after the example of these models of priestly holiness.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 2 August 2009)
The Reading of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel continues in the Liturgy of the Word of this Sunday. We are in the synagogue of Capharnaum where Jesus was giving his well-known discourse after the multiplication of the loaves. The people had sought to make him king but Jesus had withdrawn, first, to the mountain with God, with the Father, and then to Capharnaum. Since they could not see him, they began to look for him, they boarded the boats in order to cross the lake to the other shore and had found him at last. However, Jesus was well aware of the reason for this great enthusiasm in following him and he says so, even clearly: “you seek me, not because you saw signs, [because you were deeply impressed] but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (v. 26).
Jesus wants to help the people go beyond the immediate satisfaction — albeit important — of their own material needs. He wants to open them to a horizon of existence that does not consist merely of the daily concerns of eating, of being clothed, of a career. Jesus speaks of a food that does not perish, which it is important to seek and to receive. He says: “do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you” (v. 27).
The crowd does not understand, it believes that Jesus is asking for the observance of precepts in order to obtain the continuation of that miracle, and asks: “what must we do, to be dong the works of God?” (v. 28). Jesus’ answer is unequivocal: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (v. 29). The centre of existence — which is what gives meaning and certain hope in the all too often difficult journey of life — is faith in Jesus, it is the encounter with Christ.
We too ask: “what must we do to have eternal life?”. And Jesus says: “believe in me”. Faith is the fundamental thing. It is not a matter here of following an idea or a project, but of encountering Jesus as a living Person, of letting ourselves be totally involved by him and by his Gospel. Jesus invites us not to stop at the purely human horizon and to open ourselves to the horizon of God, to the horizon of faith. He demands a single act: to accept God’s plan, namely, to “believe in him whom he has sent” (v. 29).
Moses had given Israel manna, the bread from heaven with which God himself had nourished his people. Jesus does not give some thing, he gives himself: he is the “true bread that which comes down from heaven”. He is the living Word of the Father; in the encounter with him we meet the living God.
“What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (v. 28), the crowd asks, ready to act in order to perpetuate the miracle of the loaves. But Jesus, the true bread of life that satisfies our hunger for meaning and for truth, cannot be “earned” with human work; he comes to us only as a gift of God’s love, as a work of God to be asked for and received.
Dear friends, on days that are busy and full of problems, but also on days of rest and relaxation, the Lord asks us not to forget that if it is necessary to be concerned about material bread and to replenish our strength, it is even more fundamental to develop our relationship with him, to reinforce our faith in the One who is the “bread of life” which satisfies our desire for truth and love. May the Virgin Mary, on the day on which we recall the dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome, sustain us on our journey of faith.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 5 August 2012)
God himself is both the gift and the giver. Thus from that bread, from that gesture, the people can find the One who gives it, who is God. He invites them to open up to a perspective which is not only that of the daily need to eat, dress, achieve success, build a career. Jesus speaks of another food. He speaks of a food which is incorruptible and which is good to seek and gather. He exhorts: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you” (v. 27). That is to say, seek salvation, the encounter with God.
With these words, he seeks to make us understand that, in addition to physical hunger man carries within him another hunger — all of us have this hunger — a more important hunger, which cannot be satisfied with ordinary food. It is a hunger for life, a hunger for eternity which He alone can satisfy, as he is “the bread of life” (v. 35). Jesus does not eliminate the concern and search for daily food. No, he does not remove the concern for all that can make life more progressive. But Jesus reminds us that the true meaning of our earthly existence lies at the end, in eternity, it lies in the encounter with Him, who is gift and giver. He also reminds us that human history with its suffering and joy must be seen in a horizon of eternity, that is, in that horizon of the definitive encounter with Him. And this encounter illuminates all the days of our life. If we think of this encounter, of this great gift, the small gifts of life, even the suffering, the worries will be illuminated by the hope of this encounter. “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst” (v. 35). This refers to the Eucharist, the greatest gift that satisfies the soul and the body. Meeting and welcoming within us Jesus, “Bread of Life”, gives meaning and hope to the often winding journey of life. This “Bread of Life” is given to us with a task, namely, that we in our turn satisfy the spiritual and material hunger of our brothers, proclaiming the Gospel the world over. With the witness of our brotherly and solidary attitude toward our neighbour, we render Christ and his love present amid mankind.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 2 August 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 5 August 2018