In order that we might be enriched more fully through the Sacred Scriptures at Mass, the Church has established a cycle of readings from the Bible that are used throughout the Liturgical Year. The weekday readings use a two-year cycle. The Sunday readings follow a three-year cycle and are arranged so that the Gospel is taken from Matthew the first year, from Mark the next year, and from Luke the third year (beginning each liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent). The Gospel of John is read each year during the Christmas season and during Lent and Easter. The only exception to this rule is during the Mark cycle (in which we are currently). Since the Gospel of Mark is so much shorter (16 chapters, while Luke has 24 and Matthew 28 chapters), the Church reads from the Gospel of John as well during the Mark cycle. So, beginning today, we take a break from the Gospel of Mark and, continuing through the following four weeks, the Sunday Gospel is taken from the sixth chapter of John. When read and understood alongside the accounts of the Last Supper found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this chapter from John presents for us a beautiful teaching on the meaning of the Eucharist. St. John records for us the account of Jesus feeding five thousand people with a few loaves and fishes. This is followed by the Lord’s teaching which is commonly called His “Discourse on the Bread of Life”. The fact that St. John recorded this long account for us indicates how important the Lord’s miracle and the teaching that followed is. These next several weeks present an opportunity for us to reflect more deeply on the rich mystery of the Eucharist and how it ever remains the source and summit of our Faith. See you at Mass!
May God bless you!