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Cougar Dad's Club

Cougar Dads Bible Study

Next meeting: Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:30-8:00am
Location: Karen Vickery office (Lower School main floor)

Questions?  Contact Jason Neff, jneff01@gmail.com or 785.383.0927

Study Notes for Friday (8/17/18) meeting

Printable packet:

StudyNotes.17Aug18.pdf

READ: John 6:51-58

 

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”

 

 

PERSONAL MEDITATION - Fr. John Bartunek, from The Better Part

 

Eating Right

 

“This sacrament is operative to produce both love and union with Christ. The greatest showing of love is to give oneself as food.”

 

– St. Albert the Great

 

 

Christ the Teacher

 

Great teachers know that repetition is the mother of learning, as the old saying goes. If they deem a certain lesson more important than others, they will repeat it over and over again, in different ways perhaps, until the students pick it up. In this discourse, responding to his audience’s understandable difficulty in grasping how it will be possible for all of them to “eat his flesh,” Jesus clarifies what he means.

 

This was the perfect opportunity for Christ to say, “Wait a minute, what I really meant was that my body and blood will just be symbolized by bread and wine. Of course I didn’t mean that bread and wine really would become my body and blood. Don’t be foolish!” The strange thing is he doesn’t say that. He does not water down his claim, as if eating his flesh were just a metaphor for believing in his doctrine; on the contrary, he reiterates the importance of really eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Seven times throughout his speech he repeats that his flesh is to be eaten and his blood to be drunk by those who wish to have eternal life. Seven times. None of his listeners concluded that he was speaking with poetic imagery; they all understood him to mean what he said. Many of them did not accept it, and abandoned him. Those who stayed were rewarded, much later, when at the Last Supper Jesus showed how this strange saying was to play out: through the sacrament of the Eucharist – his flesh made into our food, his blood made into our drink, so as to flood this dying world with the eternal life of God.

 

 

DAD’S MEDITATION

 

The author Matthew Kelly (a past commencement speaker at HSP graduation), in one of his early books, The Rhythm of Life, talked about how he deepened his faith journey by deciding to spend just a few minutes, every day, in front of the blessed sacrament at church to pray and plan out his day with a notebook.  He discovered that just being in front of Christ each day for a few minutes was enough to powerfully impact how he lived his life.  I would venture to say that most dads could find a way to do this, if not every day, at least a few days a week. 

 

I count myself among the guilty when it comes to under appreciating the power of the Real Presence.  While I have a regular morning prayer routine with the Liturgy of the Hours, I have been trying to “upgrade” that prayer by going to the short daily mass at the cathedral each morning from 6:45-7:10.  It’s not much of a logistical challenge for me since I’m normally at work by 7:30 anyway, and it’s only seven minutes from the cathedral to my office.  In the two weeks I’ve attempted this, I have failed more than succeeded not because I was running late or because I had a morning conflict, but because my body would prefer to just lay on the couch and pray Morning Prayer…and my ever-ruminating mind tries to convince me that I “get more out of my personal prayer” than mass because at mass there are other people there who annoy me, or the deacon has a quirky way of doing the prayers of the faithful, or one of the lectors has trouble reading…etc. etc. excuse, excuse, complaint, complaint, complaint.

 

We are blessed in Atlanta and at Holy Spirit to have so many options to either spend just a few minutes with Jesus in the Eucharist or attend a daily mass.  At the upper school, there is mass on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 7:30-8am in St. Joseph’s Oratory (upper school, upper level).  The Cathedral has mass from 6:45-7:10am each morning.  Holy Spirit has evening mass every night from 6-6:30pm.  And even if we can’t get to a full mass, both the Cathedral and Holy Spirit are almost always open during the day for a short visit to the tabernacle. 

 

So here’s a challenge – try one (or all) of these three things this school year:

  1. Attend at least one daily mass in addition to your Sunday obligation, and increase it as needed.
  2. Find a way to spend a few minutes in front of the tabernacle each week (maybe even each day) – whether it’s mass or just a few moments of reflection, or as you plan your day in your mind or on paper. 
  3. Consider stopping by the tabernacle, even for just a minute, whenever you go the lower school or upper school, especially when picking up or dropping off kids.  If you arrive early enough, set an example – take the kids in with you.

 

For my part, I’m going to re-commit to the daily morning mass at the Cathedral, and try #3 as well.  See you in front of the tabernacle!

 

 

REFLECT:

 

  1. Why do you think so many of his listeners don’t accept Christ at his word?

 

  1. If Christ himself, his entire being and life, is truly present in the Eucharist and reserved in the tabernacles of all our Catholic Churches, why do you think so few people spend significant time with him there?

 

  1. As a father, what could you do to promote more interest in Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist among your family members, including your children?

 

 

FURTHER STUDY: Catechism and Ignatius Bible Study Notes

 

Catechism:

 

1392 What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,” preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum. (1212; 1524)

 

Ignatius Bible Study notes:

 

6:51 I shall give: The future tense points both to the Cross, where Jesus surrenders his life for human sins, and to the eucharistic liturgy, where Jesus offers himself as living bread to a starving world.

6:52 his flesh to eat?: The crowd is thinking of cannibalism, i.e., the sin of eating a human corpse, an idea thoroughly repugnant to them (Deut 28:53). This is a misunderstanding. Jesus gives us, not his mortal flesh as it was during his earthly ministry, but his glorified humanity as it was after rising from the dead. This is why he calls himself the “living bread” (6:51).

6:53 eat the flesh … drink his blood: Jesus is speaking literally and sacramentally. If he were speaking metaphorically or figuratively, his words would echo a Hebrew idiom where consuming flesh and blood refers to the brutalities of war (Deut 32:42; Ezek 39:17–18). no life in you: i.e., divine life. ● Drinking the blood of animals is forbidden under the Old Covenant (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:10–13; Deut 12:16). To do so is to consume “life” that is merely natural and of a lower order than human life. Jesus’ injunction does not fall under these prohibitions. The “life” he imparts is not natural but supernatural; it does not pull us down to the level of animals; it elevates us to become sharers in his divine nature (2 Pet 1:4) (CCC 1391).

6:58 will live for ever: The expression occurs rarely in the Bible, only twice in John (6:51, 58) and once in the Greek version of Gen 3:22. ● A comparison is thus implied between the Tree of Life, which bore the fruit of immortality, and the Bread of Life, which tradition calls the “medicine of immortality” (CCC 1331).

The Cougar Dads Club is open to all HSP men!  

The Dads Club offers HSP Dads an opportunity to interact and contribute through:

  • Periodic social activities - School kickoff social, Braves night, Pig Roast, and more!
  • Faith formation through bi-weekly Scripture reflections on the Sunday mass readings - our "Dads Cougar Convers(at)ions" (Friday mornings from 7:30-8 in the Vickery office at the Lower School)
  • Cougar Dads service day at HSP

Our biweekly newsletter - the Cougar Dad Cave - is designed to keep Dads appraised of Dads Club and Dad-oriented HSP activities, as well as provide ongoing faith formation through Scripture, the Church, and other media relevant for fathers.

Email Jason Neff, Cougar Dads Club leader at jneff01@gmail.com for more information.