John 6: 51-58

Illustrated New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Proper 15B)(2021)

    by Chelsey Harmon
    When it comes to “just going for it,” I’m reminded of that scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Harry is at the train station to head to Hogwarts for the first time. Confused and more than a little unsure of what to do, he asks a train employee for help, but the employee is a “muggle” so he has no idea about magical things. Opportunely, the Weasley family arrives and they help him learn the way to Platform 9 ¾. Harry has to go by himself, but he sees the others do it with joy and fun, which makes it easier for him. Plus, waiting for him on the other side is this whole life and way of being that will allow Harry to finally, truly, be himself. Isn’t that exactly the picture of living we imagine abiding with Jesus to be: truly being and becoming the self we are meant to be by God? I particularly love Mrs. Weasley’s line to Harry as he prepares to go through the wall: “Best to take it at a bit of a run!” YES! Let’s go!
  • Eternal Life

    by Bertie Pearson
    The ancient world had a conception of eternal life, and to them, it sounded awful: the Greek goddess of the dawn was said to have fallen in love with Tithonus, a prince of Troy, and asked Zeus to make him immortal so that they could remain together always. Zeus agreed, but rather than making him like one of the Greek gods, he made him an ever-living human. Thus, he grew from a dashing 20-something prince to a balding, dad-bodied, 40-something prince, and as he continued to age into his 70s, 90s, 150s, 380s, he grew smaller and smaller. When “Loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs,” says an ancient poem, he became nothing but a tiny creaking voice. To the ancient Greeks, the idea of living forever just sounded like an endless gauntlet of cataract surgeries and colonoscopies, and they wanted no part of it. But the Christian conception of eternal life is something entirely different...
  • Bread from Heaven

    by John Sumwalt
    I will never forget my first experience serving as a volunteer in a homeless shelter. After I was trained, I was assigned a three hour shift on a Sunday night at a church not far from the church where I served as pastor. My shift was to be from 8PM till 11PM. I helped to register the homeless persons as they arrived. Each one received a foam pad for a mattress, a small pillow, a sheet and a blanket. After they received their gear, we took them into the fellowship hall where they were to sleep on the floor.

    There was a row of tables and chairs dividing the room. Men slept on one side and women and children on the other. No children registered that evening, but one young woman was in the late stages of pregnancy. Before my shift was through her labor pains had started and an ambulance had been called to take her to the hospital.

    In all, about twenty-five persons came to the shelter on that cold November evening. Most of them were young men in their twenties and thirties. It was evident that they all knew each other, probably because they had sheltered together before on the street and in the churches after the shelter program began. A few of the men were quiet and kept to themselves, but several of them gathered around a large African American man named Bill, who seemed to be a kind of leader in the group. They shared a warm camaraderie that was a joy to behold. They did not have homes and, in most cases jobs, but they had each other and clearly enjoyed one another’s company...

  • Levels of Truth

    by David Zersen
    There is a well-known film that I think helps me make my point. It’s called “Places in the Heart”. It’s a troubling story about racial tension and broken relationships and dead-end attitudes. At the end, however, when you think there’s nothing good that can come from this mixture of evil people and very kind ones, there is a communion service participated in by some whom the movie audience might like to have removed. And even more astonishing, the faces of the dead characters who have been murdered in the story join in as well. To say it in church language, the church militant and the church triumphant came together at that moment and shared a level of truth that words could not have approached...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

  • *Body of Christ

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Pastor William L. Stidger tells the story of a man in his congregation who served in the Navy during World War II. One night, this man was running his transport across the Atlantic when he noticed the white trail of a torpedo coming toward him. His ship was manned by hundreds of soldiers; the potential loss of life would have been devastating..." and several other illustrations)
  • *I Am the Living Bread

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("During World War II, the Red Cross made blood available to all who needed it - ally or enemy. The Red Cross would also provide the soldier with the name of the donor so that, if he wanted, he could write a letter or note of thanks. A custom developed among medics in the European theater that if a Nazi officer needed blood, they would find a Jewish donor..." and other illustrations)
  • The Eucharist: A Celebration of Faith and Remembrance

    by Sil Galvan
    "The earliest memory I have of my father is one of me as a young boy grabbing his hand and him guiding me along as we walked together. I'll always remember that. I remember the times when my father would bring his bread truck by the house early in the morning on those cold days when I was home from school over Christmas break..."
  • John's Last Supper

    by Sil Galvan
    ("in Jesus we see God taking human life upon himself, facing our human situation, struggling with our human problems, battling with our human temptations and working out our human relationships. So it is as if Jesus says to us: 'Feed your heart, feed your mind and feed your soul on the thought that when you are discouraged and in despair, when you are beaten to your knees and disgusted with life and living, remember that I took that life of yours and these struggles of yours upon myself.'...")
  • Proper 15B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Bread and Wine

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    As St. Augustine once said in a homily: For surely this loaf was not made from one grain of wheat? The grains were separate before they came together to became one loaf. They were joined together by water, after first having been ground [contritionem—the Latin verb he uses here]. For if the many kernels are not ground and are not moistened by water, they could not come to this form, that we call a loaf. … And then without fire, there is still not a loaf of bread...
  • Exegetical Notes (John 6.51-58)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (John 6.51-58)

    by Various Authors
    (lots of good stuff here!!)

Illustrated Resources from 2018 to 2020

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  • What You Believe

    by Jim Chern
    St. Augustine said in talking about the Eucharist, “Believe what you see, see what you believe and become what you are: the Body of Christ.” So when we say “Amen”, we are saying “Yes! I believe this is the Body and Blood of Christ and that I will be the Body of Christ to others.” Someone who did that in a pretty remarkable way just about 15 years ago at the mature age of 15 himself was a young man named Carlo Acutis. Back in 2006, this computer genius used his programming skills to create a website called “the Eucharistic miracles of the world.” The kid at age 14 spent an entire summer researching on his own volition these incredible stories of even more miraculous things surrounding the miracle that takes place at every Mass – primarily because he was struck by the lack of belief of so many with regard to the Eucharist… including his own family. People used to travel great distances to see Jesus He wondered How come people wait in these long lines for a rock concert and our churches are empty? His goal was to “shake people’s consciences – say let’s go back to essentials [timely, huh], let’s go back to filling the Churches.” He did this first by managing to drag his relatives, his parents to Mass every day. It was not the other way around; it was not his parents bringing the boy to Mass, but it was he who managed to get himself to Mass and to convince others to receive Communion daily. Then when Carlo, tragically was diagnosed with Leukemia, he offered up his sufferings for the Pope and before his death in 2006 said, “To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan. I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.” I only wish I could say the same. Pope Francis announced that he was going to beatify Carlo, advancing the young man’s cause for Sainthood back in February...
  • Really, Truly Human

    by Delmer Chilton
    In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. For various reasons, the boy was the only donor whose blood could save his sister. The doctor asked, “Would you give your blood to Mary?” The little boy’s lower lip began to tremble, then he took a deep breath and said, “Yes, for my sister.” After the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, the little boy began to look very worried, then he crossed himself, finally he looked at the doctor and said, “When do I die?” Suddenly, the doctor realized that the little boy had thought that to give his blood to his sister meant he had to die, and miracle of miracles, he was willing to do that for his sister...
  • Spiritual Hunger

    by Craig Condon
    Some boys went on a camping trip with their Sunday School class. “When are we going to eat?” Alec asked as he and the others in his Sunday school class hiked down a trail in a national forest. For weeks the class of sixth-grade boys had been planning this outing–a couple days of backpacking, cooking over a campfire, and sleeping under the stars. “My stomach has been growling for an hour,” Alec added. “Mine, too,” agreed Todd. “I hope we stop soon.” “It won’t be too long now,” Mr. Larson assured them, and soon they came to the place where they were going to set up camp. “This is it, boys,” said Mr. Larson. “Good! When do we eat?” Alec asked again. Mr. Larson smiled. “We’ll start a fire right away, and then we’ll fix supper,” he answered. “You can all help gather wood for the campfire.” The boys got to work, and soon they were eating beef stew from tin mugs. “Yum! This tastes better out here than it does at home!” declared Todd, and everyone agreed. After supper, they played games and told stories around the fire. “Do we have any more food?” asked Alec after a while. “I’m hungry again!” “Me, too,” echoed several other boys. Mr. Larson nodded. “Okay. We’ll have more to eat,” he said, but he got out his Bible. “Spiritual food–we’ll have devotions. But don’t worry. Before we turn in, we’ll have a snack, too,” he assured the boys with a grin when they looked at him uncertainly. “Okay. Who knows the Bible verses we studied in class the last few months?” The boys began to recite the verses and were doing fine till someone quoted, “I am the Bread of Life.” Everyone moaned in hunger. “Okay, okay!” Mr. Larson laughed. “We’ll eat. But while you enjoy eating your snacks, I want you to think about something. How do you think you’ll feel when you wake up in the morning?” “Hungry!” Several voices gave the same answer. Mr. Larson nodded. “Always remember,” he said, “that the food we eat satisfies us for only a short time. But when Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life, He means He can satisfy our spiritual hunger forever.” Then Mr. Larson gave the boys the go-ahead to get out fruit, cookies, and crackers.
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 15B)(2018)

    by Scott Hoezee
    I believe it’s the most amazing piece of cinema I’ve ever seen, and my friend, Roy Anker, who is an expert on cinema, agrees. It is the final scene of Robert Benton’s lyric film Places in the Heart. Set in the 1930s, the movie portrays Edna Spalding, who is suddenly widowed in the film’s opening scene when a drunk young black boy named Wylie accidentally shoots Edna’s husband (the town sheriff) to death. Wylie is quickly lynched by the white townsfolk even as Edna is left with a load of debt thick enough to choke a horse and two very young children to raise. Eventually Edna meets Moze, a black migrant farmer who knows how to raise cotton and is hired by Edna to make enough money to save herself from foreclosure at the hands of the local (but very heartless) bank. And it works. Edna does make enough money to save her farm. But the white townsfolk are not happy that Moze is around and so, dressed up in their Ku Klux Klan outfits, they come to the farm one night, beat Moze up, and force him to flee. As Edna watches Moze leave—and as the question of whether she could be successful again next year without Moze’s help hovers in the air—it looks like the movie is over. But then there is one last scene, in church. It’s Sunday morning...
  • Bread...Again (John)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    There is lots of bread in scripture, and in John 6:51-58 a connecting line is drawn between bread and manna: This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate...The picture above is exactly what it describes (and the designation/naming of the artist is drawn from this work). What is interesting, I think, is the manner in which people are gathering the manna. Some are picking up the wafer-shaped manna from the ground. Men, women, and children are all engaged in the task. Babies are held in their mother's arms, and people embrace as the miracle occurs. This is clearly a celebration. As it should be. For the coming decades the people will be fed daily with manna and quail...
  • How Could I Drink Blood?

    by Andrew Prior
    "Meet the Ferrones... this everyday Australian family has set out on an extraordinary time travelling adventure." So begins each decade of Back in Time for Dinner, an infotainment-reality-TV-cooking-show blend which, nonetheless, displays moments of startling humanity. In the 1990's episode, the family are the guests of Chef Michael Tai, whose own family were refugees from Vietnam. Michael takes Olivia, a delightfully unfiltered ten year old, to choose a fish, which he nets for her from the restaurant tank. She returns to the table, full of glee: "I got to pick a fish! I decided I would name it Jeff!" And then Jeff comes to the table, neatly sliced. "I'd like to take a moment to say a few words about our friend Jeff who sacrificed his life for our dining pleasure," says Mum Carol, discomforted, yet inured to life as we live it. (25:50 minutes in. A very small and poor quality clip) But Olivia is horrified. Deeply shocked. Unable to laugh off the horror of what has been done. The family watch as Michael spoons the fish into the soup— "He'll taste delicious!" someone cries. No one notices Olivia's whimper, or sees the trauma on her face, and the hands over her ears: Horror.
  • Ordinary 20B (2018)

    by Alma Tinoco Ruiz
    he first time my six-year-old son saw me breastfeeding his baby sister, he was amazed at the fact that food was coming out of my flesh. He was also impressed to see how desperately his baby sister looked for me when she was hungry, which was very often. One day he said, “It seems that all she wants to do is to eat from your body.” This is the kind of relationship that Jesus wants us to have with him. He wants us to seek him like a hungry baby seeks her mama’s breast. “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink,” Jesus says in this week’s Gospel reading. “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them.”...
  • The Bargain of a Lifetime

    by Alex Thomas
    When I read a piece entitled “A Baloney Sandwich” by Bob Benson in See You At The House (1) recently, I was reminded of some of the church picnics I attended when living on my own. Benson’s experience was so similar to mine that we could have been at the same picnics. Like him, I would get ready to pack my picnic lunch, go to the refrigerator and find a dried up piece of baloney and just enough mustard in the jar so that I got it all over my knuckles trying to get to it. I would add a couple of slices of stale bread, put it in a brown paper bag and head off to the picnic. When it came time to eat I would more than likely find myself sitting beside some people who it seemed had been preparing food for this picnic for the past week. They had fried chicken, potato salad, green salads, homemade rolls, pies, and cake. If that wasn’t enough they had a few things like hamburgers and hot dogs that they could throw on the BBQ. They would spread this feast out next to my baloney sandwich. Then they would say to me, “Say, Why don’t we put it all together, and share” . I would look down at my meager offering and reply, “No, I couldn’t do that! All I have is this sandwich” But they would insist, “O come on, we all love baloney sandwiches, and we have plenty here. We’ll put it all together and there would be enough for everyone”...

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2017

  • Like Someone Dying of Hunger

    by Phil Bloom
    ("In his book, Journey to the Heart of Jesus, Archbishop Sartain writes about the importance of consistency in attending Mass. He uses the example Matt Talbot who by age 13 became addicted to alcohol. He sank deeper and deeper until he hit bottom fifteen years later. Desperate, he made a pledge of sobriety on his knees. With the help of a priest, he established a disciplined program of recovery and he remained sober for forty years. His program foreshadowed Alcoholics Anonymous...")
  • Proper 15B (2015)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "Through the window I saw the spiritual leaders of Georgia Lutheranism: warm, dry, well clad, well fed, laughing and talking and having a good time. Without turning my head, I also saw the homeless of Atlanta: cold, wet, in shabby clothes, depressed and silent and miserable. And the question came to my mind: If Jesus were standing on this corner, to which breakfast would he go? At the time I thought the answer to that question was easy, that it was a clear cut "either/or." For some reason the idea that it could be "both/and" never occurred to me..."
  • *Leap of Faith

    by Tom Cox
    ("Suppose you spent years to perfect your skill at a certain sport and then you're there at the World Championships for that sport and you take Gold! You bring the medal home, all of your friends and relatives want to see it, so you have a busy few months ahead. But a day comes when you come back to your car to find that it's been broken into, window smashed - no medal....")
  • Like It or Not

    by Tom Cox (with a takeaway on Friday nights)
    ("Maybe our Eucharist reflects increasingly modern family life. We shouldn't expect Sunday Mass in the 21st Century to be given the same rapt attention and devotion as in the past. It's a mirror image of our time-poor age. Our families meet less often and usually with somebody absent. Some meals are 20 minute "wolf it down" affairs with arrangements made quickly as to who is going where and when...")
  • Some (Not So) Random Thoughts on Bread

    by Janet Hunt
    ("In her book Sourdough Breads and Coffee Cakes: 104 Recipes Using Homemade Starters, Ada Lou Roberts offers a brief 'history of bread". For example: 'In Scotland the finest white bread, known as 'manchet', was reserved for royalty and the great landlords. 'Cheat,' the second finest grade, was found in the homes of the upper-class tradesmen...")
  • Corpus Christi: Mind and Matter

    by Terrance Klein
    ("One Saturday evening, shortly before Mass, a man called me to his side.'I want you to have this,' he said, handing me an envelope with my name on it. 'You can read it later.' That night, I opened the envelope. Inside was a prayer the man had carefully composed: 'Lord God, as you know, I have been diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type...")
  • How Real Is Your Christ?

    by Terrance Klein
    ("In his history Spain: The Center of the World 1510-1682, Robert Goodwin relates how an aristocrat from Seville commissioned 'a portrait from the most fashionable artist' which his friends then 'criticized by all manner of attention to the detail'. And so: 'Piqued by their slights, the patron called upon a great painter called Luis de Vargas to offer an opinion; he took one look at the portrait and said, "If it please Your Excellency to do as I suggest, you will at least be satisfied that it is a good likeness.'...")
  • This Terrible Eating of Bread

    by Andrew Prior
    includes several quote
  • Eternal Life

    by Nancy Rockwell
    "What we perhaps miss, in the ritualizing, is the mystical sense Jesus, in John, conveys: that the world is transformed by powerful acts and words of Spirit, in the mortal bodies and voices of people whose destiny is to transform time. And they live in us beyond their own time, as we live our way into a new time their words and deeds have brought about. The Dalai Lama, for instance, still alive in this world, has brought Tibet into the larger world, has kept Tibetan spirit reality alive while Tibetan culture is under dire assault in its homeland..."
  • Images of Eating/Meals (John)

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2013

  • Proper 15B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. For various reasons, the boy was the only donor whose blood could save his sister. The doctor asked, 'Would you give your blood to Mary?' The little boy's lower lip began to tremble, then he took a deep breath and said, 'Yes, for my sister.'...") (Scroll down for this sermon.)
  • The Bread That Gives Us Life

    by Denis Hanly, MM
    As you probably remember, in the country of Ethiopia during the three years of famine, in 1984 to 1986, over one million Ethiopians died of hunger. And during that terrible time, Cardinal Hume of Westminster Cathedral in London made a pastoral visit there. And upon his return to England, he told the following story and these are his words: “On one occasion, I boarded a helicopter that flew me to a mountain settlement high up in the hills where people were starving and waiting for food, food which perhaps was never to arrive. “When I stepped out of the helicopter, a little boy of ten ran up to me and took my hand. He wore only a loin cloth around his waist. The whole time I was there, he would not let go of me. “As we walked around the settlement, he never spoke a word. But whenever we stopped to greet a group of people, he raised his free hand and pointed to his mouth and, with the other, he lifted mine and rubbed it gently up and down his cheek. “I was terribly moved. Here was an orphan boy, lost and starving, who had managed with two simple gestures to express our deepest hungers, our deepest hungers as human beings, namely our hunger for food and our hunger for love.” “I have never forgotten this incident,” continued the Cardinal, “and, to this day, I wonder if that little child is still alive. “I do remember, however, that as I boarded the helicopter to leave this tragic place, I turned back and looked down and saw the boy standing there, gazing up at me with eyes of sadness and reproach.”...
  • Gospel Commentary (Ordinary 20B)(2012)

    by Kym Harris, OSB
    ("In Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice, as Shylock moves to cut the pound of flesh from Antonio, Portia states that he should "shed no blood, nor cut off less nor more but just the pound of flesh." Of course, Shylock stops. It is impossible to cut flesh without shedding blood...")
  • Proper 15B (2012)

    by Ben Helmer
    ("Two old friends recently met at a school reunion. They had not seen each other for 35 years. During that time they had each married, raised children, worked to support their families and, they discovered, been active members of their churches. As they walked into dinner, one looked at the other and said, "We've aged well, but our hair has gotten gray, and we're sagging in places....")
  • Sharing Bread

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I was on call at our local community hospital a few weeks back. It was mid-morning on Thursday when my cell phone rang. It was the hospital social worker calling to tell me she was with a family whose 90-year-old mother was dying and they had asked for pastoral care. It wasn't urgent, she assured me, but hospice had been called in...")
  • Slow Food, Not Fast Food: We Are What We Eat

    by Rex Hunt
    When my first son was in kindergarten, I was a parent volunteer who visited the school once a week to teach folk songs to the children. Singing came between rest-time and snack-time. Regularly I was invited to stay after singing and join the class for milk and scones. I gladly stayed. Not because I was particularly hungry, but because I enjoyed watching the children carry out this ordinary task with such extraordinary care. Two children set the table with serviettes and cups. Two others arranged the chairs. Others went to the refrigerator for cartons of milk, while two more fetched the scones from the kitchen and arranged them neatly on plates. One child was responsible for placing something in the middle of the table to talk about during the snack - a sort of ‘show and tell’. For half the class, their job for the day was being good ‘guests’. The other half were the ‘hosts’. Each ‘host’ took a scone off the plate, broke it in half, and gave it to a ‘guest’ before eating the other half. During this snack-time, they discussed the ‘show and tell’ object in the centre of the table...
  • Feeding from the Wound

    by Terrance Klein
    ("I had asked my mom why Grandma Klein, whom we visited almost every Sunday morning, after Mass, had Bible comics in her home. They were illustrated Bible stories, primarily from the Old Testament. 'She thought it would be good if you kids read them.' 'But I don't remember anyone reading them except me.' 'Well, you kept reading them, so she kept getting them.' 'But where did she get them? She didn't go to Church.'...")
  • Body and Blood

    by Anneke Oppewal
    ("This week I listened to a program on Radio National about the development in the fifties and sixties of gospel music into rock music. Apparently Ray Charles was the first musician to take the gospel he knew from Church, and basically by speeding it up, changed it into what we now know as soul music. He didn't only change the tune though, he also changed the words...")
  • Proper 15B (2009)

    by Joseph Parrish
    ("I had never been present with someone dying until I took my Clinical Pastoral Education unit in the summer of 1985 at Goldwater Hospital. That hospital housed several hundred patients that had been moved there from Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan who had incurable spinal or brain problems—some due to accidents, some due to diseases...")
  • Living Bread

    by Timothy Smith
    ("I spent the summer immediately following my college graduation in Africa, a starry-eyed youth intent on both discovering and then changing the world with the love of Christ--a noble, if perhaps naïve pursuit. Pastor Barry Lang, a Canadian missionary based in the town of Bong Mine, Liberia, was pastorally responsible for a wide geographical area with dozens of tiny villages out in what they called 'The Bush'...")
  • Why They Left, Why They Stayed

    Narrative Sermon by Vicki Smith

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • Proper 15B (2009)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("The startling but powerful Eucharistic imagery of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood suggests the startling but powerful scene of the Lord’s Supper in the movie Places in the Heart. The movie portrays Edna Spalding, a young widow who must struggle to continue farming after her husband, the local sheriff, is shot to death...")
  • *The Second Sacrament

    by John Christianson
    ("Carroll Hinderlie was a missionary to the Philippines when the Japanese drove out Macarthur and took over the islands. He and his pregnant wife were among the many who were thrown into a concentration camp. They saw each other through the wire fence that separated the men’s and women’s compounds..." and other illustrations)
  • *The Right Life

    by Tom Cox
    ("You can't help but wonder if the Gospel passage took place today and Jesus uttered 'I am the living bread which has come down from heaven' – the response may be a shoulder shrug and a lethal 'so'. Accompanied by it's first cousin 'so what' - these are two little words every parent dreads to hear...")
  • Body and Blood of Christ (A)(1999)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time, Maggie and Jack, newly-weds moved into a small apartment complex in a new city, far from their hometown. Soon after they arrived, they were invited to an end of summer barbecue on the rooftop of their apartment complex and met most of their neighbors...")
  • The Treasure of the Eucharist

    by James Farfaglia
    ("Scott Hahn, the famous former Protestant minister that converted to Catholicism wrote in his conversion story one of the most beautiful testimonies about the Eucharist that I have ever read. Here are his words, written in his book that he co-authored with his wife Kimberly...")
  • Ordinary 20B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("A young college student went to the Newman chaplain and said, I believe in God and in life after death and in resurrection and in the church, but I cannot accept that Jesus is really present, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. I'm sorry, but I just can't...")
  • Body and Blood of Christ (A)(2002)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Remember the two little kids who "almost drowned" in the storm on the lake? After their father had brought them ashore, what did he do? Well, of course, he gave them something to eat. Now their father was not much of a cook and their mother had gone shopping with their big sister. So he didn't know quite what to give them to eat...")
  • Ordinary 20B (1997)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a young man who was looking for the perfect young woman to be his wife. One day he encountered a young woman who was looking for the perfect young man. They both turned on the charm and won each other over. They fell hopelessly in love...")
  • Body and Blood of Christ (A)(1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a father brought his four kids into a thirty one flavors. Well only three of them came in. A teenage girl remained outside in the car sulking, because she was at that age of life at which teenage girls sulk. Inside the two boys fought over which one could choose first because they both wanted garlic chocolate fudge...")
  • Proper 15B (2003)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("Marie-Louise Ternier-Gomers says it this way: 'That’s Eucharist: in Jesus, we eat and drink God’s love in big gulps, without reserve, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. In turn we grow free -- as Jesus did -- to allow God to claim our lives, to bless our lives, to break our lives in the name of Love...")
  • Whole Wheat, Greenbacks and Real Life

    Story Sermon by Peter Haynes
  • Discipleship: Communion with Christ

    by John Jewell
    ("Alexander Schmemann, in his little book For the Life of the World, captures the sense of relationship between food and life and the biblical notion of feeding the spirit: 'Man is what he eats.' Feuerbach was expressing, without knowing it, the most religious idea of man...")
  • Proper 15B (1997)

    by Kirk Alan Kubicek
    So we turn to new ways of looking at the old ideas, such as this passage from Norman Mailer’s attempt to be renewed by the Good News of God in Christ: “In the evening, in the dark, I came to that house with my twelve, and we ate. I remained silent until I took the bread. Then I blessed it and broke it and gave a piece to each of my friends. I recalled the hour when I had broken bread in the desert and five loaves had fed five hundred(sic). In that hour I had lived in the miracle of God’s favor; so I said now: `Eat of me, for this is my body.’ And what I said was true. In death, our flesh returns to the earth and from that earth will come grain. I was the Son of God. So I would be present in the grain. I took the cup, and offered thanks to the Lord, and poured our wine, and recalled other nights when we had drunk together and had felt as if all were one, and things hidden would be revealed. Now indeed, was much revealed. The wine made me feel near my Father, and I looked upon Him as if He were a great king. Indeed, for these few breaths, my fear of Him was less than my love; I felt close to His long labors…as I gave them to drink, I said: `This is my blood, which is shed for you and for many.’ Whereupon, as I tasted the sorrow of the grapes that had been crushed to make this wine, I told them: I will drink no more wine until I drink it in the Kingdom of God.’ The Kingdom of God seemed near. My apostles stirred. One said: `How can a prophet give his flesh to eat and his blood to drink? I said: `Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will have no life. But he who will eat my flesh and drink my blood will have eternal life. I will raise him up on the last day. He will dwell in me and I in him.”...
  • Corpus Christi and Eucharistic Miracles

    by Tommy Lane
    ("In the year 1263 a priest from Prague was on route to Rome making a pilgrimage asking God for help to strengthen his faith since he was having doubts about his vocation. Along the way he stopped in a Bolsena 70 miles north of Rome. While celebrating Mass there, as he raised the host during the consecration, the bread turned into flesh and began to bleed...")
  • Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

    by Tommy Lane
    ("One day while walking down the street a highly successful person was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Gates of Heaven by St. Peter himself. 'Welcome to Heaven,' said St. Peter. 'Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem...")
  • Living Life Abundantly

    by Ben Manning
    ("We are told that when Jesus said to pray in the Lord's Prayer for daily bread he used a word that is unique in all Greek literature. The word is not found in classical Greek, and no where else in New Testament Greek does it appear. Some people thought St. Matthew made up the word when he wrote his version of the Gospel..." and other illustrations)
  • Holy Communion

    by Edward Markquart
    (includes a discussion of several paintings of the Last Supper)
  • The Imaginary God

    by Donel McClellan
    ("When Seymour passed away, God greeted him at the Pearly Gates. 'Thou be hungry, Seymour?' said God. 'I could eat,' Seymour replied. So God opened a can of tuna and reached for a chunk of rye bread and they shared it. While eating this humble meal, Seymour glanced down into Hell and saw the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters, pheasants, pastries, and fine wines..." and another illustration)
  • *The Handprints of God

    by Jim McCrea
    ("when I was in seventh grade, we were asked to read an essay in English class by Jonathan Swift called A Modest Proposal. And that essay produced an intense reaction of horror in all of us that I'll never forget. I don't know how many of you are familiar with that particular essay, so let me offer a short summary...." and another illustration)
  • *Absence and Presence

    by Henri Nouwen
    ("Not only in pastoral visits but also, and even more so, in the celebration of the sacraments, we need to be aware of the importance of a ministry of absence. This is very central in the Eucharist. What do we do there? We eat bread, but not enough to take our hunger away; we drink wine, but not enough to take our thirst away...")
  • *The Million Dollar Question

    by Luke O'Donnell
    ("The true story is told of a woman named Robinson Kate who lived in the early 1900’s. She found herself to be worth over $5,000,000. Kate could have led an easy life with that amount of money, but she chose to live as a vagrant, wearing horrible clothes, begging for food, and living in an unheated, dilapidated apartment...")
  • *Proper 15B (2000)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("Years ago I was on what might be called the 'fringe' of catholic Christianity, enjoying hearing Presbyterian sermons but feeling something was missing. I chanced to go to a Roman Catholic Church one Sunday evening and found in its Eucharist something that seemed to fill my soul like nothing else...")
  • Being Really Present

    by Gerry Pierse, C.Ss.R
    ("A priest teaching in Manila used to go to a village on Sundays to say mass. It happened that there was a typhoon and as he went there on the following Sunday he noticed that the house of an old childless couple, Antonio and Maria, living on the edge of the barrio was tilting quite a lot to one side. After his homily he mentioned this to the congregation...")
  • The 'Dangerous Memory' of Jesus

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("In 1991, the Church in the Philippines tried to go through a process of self reflection and evaluation by means of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II). There was an honest effort to try to assess the reality of Filipino catholicism. The picture that emerged was one of light and shadow...")
  • *Communing With the Bread of Life

    by Stephen Portner
    ("Perhaps you know of Rocky. His photograph was in the newspaper a little over a week ago. The tomato plant that was growing in his garden is yielding more tomatoes than ever before. Rocky has had to take special care of that tomato plant because he realizes the health of the tomatoes depend on the health of the vine...")
  • True Bread

    by Gary Roth
    ("Lech Walensa was once interviewed about what made him happy. He said that once he had the opportunity to share a bit of bread with a young woman, and he remembered how happy he had been. On the other hand, he also remembered once when he and his wife had had a fight; afterward she served him a plate of fine sausages, and he couldn't even eat them...")
  • *Ordinary 20B (2006)

    by David Shea
    ("I was very close to my grandfather growing up. He had immigrated to the United States from Canada and I called him Pepere. We used to spend hours and hours in his workshop, and he taught me how to operate a drill press and a lathe, and how to use calipers...")
  • How to Live - Forever!

    by Martin Singley
    ("A musician friend of mine once told me that in John Stainer’s classic choral anthem God So Loved The World, there is a particular emphasis placed upon different words in the haunting three-time echo of the lyrics that bring the piece to a close. I have no idea if this is true or not because I am not a musician, but I want it to be true!...")
  • The Bargain of a Lifetime

    by Alex Thomas
    When I read a piece entitled "A Baloney Sandwich" by Bob Benson in See You At The House (1) recently, I was reminded of some of the church picnics I attended when living on my own. Benson's experience was so similar to mine that we could have been at the same picnics. Like him, I would get ready to pack my picnic lunch, go to the refrigerator and find a dried up piece of baloney and just enough mustard in the jar so that I got it all over my knuckles trying to get to it. I would add a couple of slices of stale bread, put it in a brown paper bag and head off to the picnic. When it came time to eat I would more than likely find myself sitting beside some people who it seemed had been preparing food for this picnic for the past week. They had fried chicken, potato salad, green salads, homemade rolls, pies, and cake. If that wasn't enough they had a few things like hamburgers and hot dogs that they could throw on the BBQ. They would spread this feast out next to my baloney sandwich.
  • Soul Food

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Harold Kushner in his book When All You've Ever Wanted was Not Enough tells of a Rabbi asking a prominent member of his congregation, 'Whenever I see you, you're always in a hurry. Tell me. Where are you running all the time?' The man answered, 'I'm running after success..." and another illustration)
  • Jesus, the Living Bread

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("One example of this is the film Cool Hand Luke, about a southern chain gang. According to Curt M. Joseph: The prison is run by a pompous warden assisted by a menacing captain who never speaks and whose expressions are hidden by a pair of mirrored sunglasses. The inmates suffer at the hands of these two men until Cool Hand Luke arrives as an inmate...")
  • Illustrations (Proper 15B)

    Compiled by Tim Zingale
  • Wisdom Equals Being in Christ

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Ben Putintoff was a member of the Lord's church. Morally, he was a good man. He didn't lie, curse, drink, beat his wife, or smoke.. He paid his income tax, came to Sunday School and worship services, paid his bills and gave a 'few left over bucks' to the Lord. He never opposed anything that was good. One day old Ben Putinoff died and stood before the Righteous Judge...")

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