Friday, August 31, 2012

The World of the Heart

Reflections on the Readings

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 2, 2012 - Year B

By Dennis S. Hankins

Readings For This Sunday

The World of the Heart

Jesus said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'  (Mark 7:6-7)

Jeremiah, the prophet, bewildered by the sin of his people, concluded: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Jeremiah explains that the Lord searches the heart and mind.  Without fail we reap what we sow; no one escapes the fruit of the heart.  Many scriptures exhort us to guard our heart and to meditate upon God's word so that we might not sin against God. (Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 119:11) Every virtue or vice first takes shape within the world of the heart.  What follows is either trash or treasure. 

I heard a lot of 'holiness preaching' in the Pentecostal church as a kid.  Sometimes there was a misplaced emphasis on sleeveless blouses and short skirts and men with long hair.  Holiness in that vein stressed the importance of the outward appearance.  The error of that type of preaching is evident and lacks in theological and doctrinal soundness.  It creates an illusion of holiness and ignores what God does not ignore.  While we may judge by the eye, God still looks on the heart.  And the list of vices Jesus enumerates in today's gospel is just one of several such lists in the New Testament.  And the things we find in these lists deal with sin.  Real sin.  

The first reading speaks of the way God prepared his people to enter the promised land.  He gives them his commandments and law and enjoins his people to be attentive to his words.  His word will guide them and instruct them on how to live justly with one another.  Faithful adherence meant never diluting or dismissing any of the decrees God gives his people to follow.  No one is exempt.  Such wisdom and understanding that God's word gives draws the acclamation of the nations, for what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?  Or what great nation has decrees and statutes that are just as is God's law?   God's word is seen as instructive and life giving.  Who lives in God's presence, the holy mountain?  Today's Psalm answers that question:  Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.  Everyone who treats his neighbor right, abhors sin, honors the Lord, lives in God's love.  

The reading from James continues the theme.  What is good and perfect is the gift of God's word that comes to us from above.  The gospel invites us to a new birth.  The word of truth is a light to our path and a lamp to our feet.  The people of God are a new creation, a new humanity, having humbly embraced the word God planted in us.  Following the teachings of the Church we discover a road map to heaven.  And James exhorts that we must never be just listeners to God's word.  We must be doers so as to avoid deception and self delusion.  

What is genuine old time religion?  Timothy Cardinal Dolan gave the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, August 30th.  In his prayer he describes true faith and religion.  He asked that we might have the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer.  "May we strive," he continued, "to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed."  

The law of love is profoundly rich and brings God's presence and help to those we befriend.  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  It's not exactly rocket science.  Hungry people need food.  Thirsty people need water.  Lonely people need a friend.  Prisoners need a visit.  Sick people need medicine and prayer and hope.  The powerful work of charity is a work that is never finished.  

In today's Gospel, the Pharisees forgot what is true religion.  An add on ritual of hand washing before meals was an appearance of holiness.  The tradition of the elders diluted the true meaning and teaching of the Law.  The disciples were not eating with unwashed hands.  It is not a violation of proper table etiquette the disciples are chided for.  They are guilty of a particular form of religious defilement; a defilement defined and regulated outside of the revelation of God's word.  It is an appearance thing.  Accordingly, for the Pharisees, points are lost with such violations while they neglect the weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy and faith.  

The world of the heart is big.  We understand what is in our hearts when we enter our closet of prayer and close our eyes and say, "Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" (Psalm 139:23, 24)  This prayer is a good way to prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Approaching confession with this prayer will help anyone to make a good confession.  The God of all love is faithful and just and in his love he forgives us our sins and heals our heart.  

Is your heart troubled?  Jesus already knows what is in our hearts.  He knows the power of evil and darkness that threatens us and entices us.  Ask for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as you need it.  In this Sacrament of Love there is healing and forgiveness and power to live with a heart that beats with love for God and neighbor.  Amen.  

Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to his uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. You can email him at   His website is:   

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Words of Spirit and Life

Reflections on the Readings
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 26, 2012 - Year B

Words of Spirit and Life

Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this?"  (John 6:60)

A 'hard saying' is a teaching that is offensive and difficult.  Throughout his teaching Jesus presents himself as the bread of life.  His words that his body is true food and his blood is true drink meets with resistance.  Some react to his words like one reacts to the sound made when someone scrapes the chalkboard with their fingernails.  A picture of writhing and contortions and people holding their ears comes to mind.  

I've said before that I do not recall hearing sermons from these 'controversial' verses in John chapter 6 as a kid in my Pentecostal church.  I am grateful that by God's grace the mystery and revelation of Christ John the beloved shares in this chapter entered my heart.  "Eat my flesh and drink my blood so that there may be life in you," Jesus said.  These words that many still find difficult to embrace became for me words of spirit and life.  These words that illumined my heart in the early 1990's put me on a journey that I did not fully know where it would take me.  First, that road led me to the priesthood in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and then ended upon entering the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006.    

John writes as an eyewitness of the life and ministry of Jesus.  In his gospel he presents Jesus with a heart inspired from daily and close contact with his Master.  He let's us hear Jesus say "I AM" more than Matthew, Mark, or Luke.  In the gospel of John Jesus says, "I am the light; I am the door; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Resurrection and Life; I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; I am the True Vine."  And in the 6th chapter of John's gospel that has been the gospel readings for five consequent Sundays Jesus says, "I am the Bread."  

It is in John's gospel we also hear Jesus say, "Before Abraham was, I am," emphasizing his full divinity.  At the beginning of John's gospel he opens with the Incarnation and continues the theme of God manifested in the flesh throughout the entire book.  In the First Epistle of John we read the most tender remembrance of Christ on record when John writes:  "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you."  It doesn't get richer than this.  

Today we conclude this Bread of Life discourse in John chapter 6 knowing that our ears have heard the invitation to life and that more abundantly.  Christ holds nothing back from us - especially himself.  He holds out to us a fellowship with him and his Father through the Spirit that we receive in the bread which is his body, broken on Calvary, and raised by immeasurable power.  We drink the wine which is his blood, spilled, and poured out from the spear wound in his side - the water and blood of the Lamb that washes whiter than snow.  

"Dennis, do you really understand all of this?" someone may ask.  No, my friend.  I really don't. That he my God should die for me so that I could live with him and through him and by him is beyond all my powers of thought.  "How does he become our daily bread?" you ask.  It is not meant to be explained and understood like we might explain and understand the math tables or the rules of grammar.  But we want God and salvation and his redeeming love to make sense, don't we?  We don't want anyone thinking that we are off our rocker because we believe that a carpenter from Nazareth came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man and walked on water, and healed the eyes of the blind, and taught that love covers a multitude of sins, and raised the dead, and said, "he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will never die."  But it gets better.  From a rugged cross he prayed to his Father and said, "Forgive them.  For they know not what they do." 

Dottie Rambo wrote and sung, "If that isn't love, then the oceans are dry and there are no stars in the sky."  Everything owes it's existence to this solitary life who had no where to lay his head and yet the stars in the sky and the olive trees in the Garden where he prayed are his handiwork of love.  

Many disciples left Jesus that day after he talks about his life and love he gives for the life of the world.  His message is clear. In him alone is there salvation.  But some draw back from him finding his words too hard, too offensive, too difficult.  They turn and walk away.  Jesus says to the twelve, "Do you also wish to leave?"  Let us join our voices with Peter and say, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."  Amen.   

Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to his uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. You can email him at   His website is:   


Sunday, August 19, 2012

This is Jesus

Reflections on the Readings

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 19, 2012 - Year B

By Dennis S. Hankins

Readings For This Sunday

This is Jesus

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

This dialogue with Jesus begins on the heels of his feeding the five thousand with a miraculous supply of fish sandwiches.  A little boy gave up his lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish so that Jesus could feed the crowds scattered over the hillside.  Jesus took the loaves and fish and gave thanks and broke the bread and divided the fish for over five thousand to feast on.  And after the distribution of the food the disciples picked up twelve basketful of leftovers!

Now the crowds are coming again and want their tummy fed.  But Jesus talks to them about their real need.  Sure he had fed them because he wanted them not to be famished and go home physically hungry.  It had been a long day of teaching and answering questions.  But the next day they thought he would do it again.  Now, however, he explains that the food he gave only helps for a while.  Even the manna in the wilderness desert, a miracle if there ever was one, could only help for a little while.  And the next morning there would be more so that folks could have their daily bread.  But Jesus goes further and tells them that neither the manna nor the fish sandwiches give what it is he really wants them to have.

The summation and goal of this life for some is to eat and drink and to make merry for tomorrow we die. Nothing else matters.  So if you can get a free meal you better get it while the getting is good for you don't know if there will be any thing to eat later.  At least that seems to be the approach of the crowds that followed Jesus. Jesus even said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves."  They missed the signs.  The most important thing that happened on that day was missed.  

Have you ever been in that situation?  I know I have.  Someone's story or tragedy or illness or devastation went over your head and you missed the signs of a broken heart.  And then there is that occasion when you missed the signs of some extraordinary thing that happened to your wife or child and you missed the joy of it all.  Too busy perhaps.  Maybe too tired.  Both are lame excuses.  Believe me. I've been there.  But for these folks who ate till they were satisfied missed something even more important.  What is it they missed?  They missed the sign that Jesus wants to give them himself.  He wants to meet their need to know God like they have never known him before.  These are God's people, the people to whom the promises were made.  God had made a covenant with this people that one day he would give them a new heart and a new spirit.  And Jesus who gave them more to eat than what they could eat is standing before them offering himself so that they might have life and know God in a fulness that is immeasurable in mercy and love and grace.

That's what they missed.

As we pick up on this in today's Gospel Jesus is pressing the shocking truth home:  "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."  Jesus is giving himself for the life of the world because his flesh and blood is the real food we need.  This is Jesus saying to everyone how much he loves us.  Jesus continues, "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."  That's the central truth Jesus is driving home to his listeners and to us today.  

I don't think in all the years I grew up in Church I heard any of my pastors preach from the 'controversial' verses in the 6th chapter of John.  I'm sure it's because of many reasons.  The biggest reason they are difficult to deal with is because it's still as shocking to read it now as it must have been to hear Jesus say it for the first time.  But it must be important.  Jesus doesn't back down or rephrase it so that it becomes less shocking.  He reveals his relationship with his Father as a living unity of love.  Jesus lives and knows himself and what it is he will do for the world within the context of his life in the Father.  And he invites his listeners into that holy communion but describes the way to it in a way that at first sounds crude.  Jesus talks about eating his flesh using a word that describes the process of chewing and munching food.  But Jesus is serious about our salvation.  He wants us to live in the life he gives us in his sacrificial work on the cross and his victorious resurrection and ascension to the Father's right hand.  It is this he gives us when we eat the true bread, not the manna that the fathers ate in the desert and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.

What's really happening when we go to Mass?  Is it just another hour to breeze through before we go to 'eat, drink, and make merry?'  Is Sunday a day we use to remember who we are in Christ and what it is he asks us to do in his name?  The Lord's Day is a day of rest.  Not just the rest you get sleeping on the sofa.  There is another rest and it is this rest we need unless we are missing the sign and meaning that Sunday is.  It is the day of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.  On this day sometime before the first rays of sunshine broke over the mountains of Jerusalem, Jesus rose from the dead with healing in his wings.  That's what Sunday and Holy Communion are all about.  Basketball and football and baseball aside, Sunday is about Jesus and participating in his life in the Holy Supper.  

Mass begins as we leave our homes and make our way to the Church.  We dress up a little remembering we are going to sit together in heavenly places and eat at the table of the King.  In the earliest years of the Church reverence and expectation accompanied those gathering to celebrate the Holy Eucharist.  It is this same reverence and expectation we too can embrace.  May we not miss the meaning of the signs we see on this holy day.  It is not ordinary bread we see on the altar of sacrifice.  No, no my friend, This Is Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those who are called to His supper.  

Indeed, it is our joy and and our salvation.  And we approach this sacred bread and wine in humility and pray, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." And he will give us more of his life and increase in us the work of his salvation. Amen.

Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to his uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. You can email him at   His website is:   

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Not Your Average Joe" Catholic Men's Conference

What are you doing Saturday, August 25?  

Please consider the Diocesan Catholic Men's Conference to be encouraged and empowered in your vocation as husband, father, and grandfather.  As brothers in Christ we need each other and the inspiration this Men's Conference will give each one of us.  As Catholic men we want to be engaged in our faith and to be reminded that as Christian men we are "Not Your Average Joe."  

Jeff Cavins is an exceptional motivational speaker about the special needs and opportunities of Christian men.  Steve Wood will inspire us as well as someone who understands the unique vocation we have as husbands and fathers.  

Bishop Stika will join us and celebrate Mass to conclude this historic opportunity to come together as brothers in Christ.  The $40 registration gets us in the door and gives us the necessary handouts for the day and lunch too! Join me at this Men's Conference and this important time to know our faith better and to become better versions of ourselves!

Catholic Men's Conference

"Not Your Average Joe"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

All Saints Catholic Church 620 North Cedar Bluff Road Knoxville, TN 37923

The $40 registration has been extended up to the time of the conference.  So register online or come Saturday, August 25, 2012 and register at the site of the conference!

Make Sure Every Man in Your Parish Knows About This!  You'll Be Glad You Did!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Living Bread

Reflections on the Readings
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 12, 2012 - Year B

The Living Bread

"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." (John 6:51)

It is said that we become what we eat.  Too many pounds and too much cholesterol and high triglycerides reveal a diet too rich and too fat and too sweet.  That is the way our bodies respond when too many meals come from fast food restaurants rather than from the fresh food and produce section of the store.  Jesus tells us we receive eternal life and resurrection when we eat the bread he offers us.  

Bread is common in many cultures and religions.  Historically it is known as the staff of life; a necessary food. I have a colleague who tells of his mother's tradition of making fresh bread every Saturday for the family.  Even though the family has grown up and have their own families, the tradition continues, and every Saturday his mom makes more bread.  When my friend talks to me about the fresh homemade buns his mother makes I can smell the aroma of fresh bread.  There's nothing quite like homemade bread!  My friend's mother not only makes great homemade bread but she has created a lifetime of memories right in her own kitchen.  She gives her family her life and love in the bread that she makes.

For the Israelites, bread from heaven fell on the floor of the desert, and every morning the families of that great nation gathered their daily bread.  Remembering this miraculous help the Psalmist exclaimed, "Taste and see how good the Lord is."  The manna had a hint of honey.  And for forty years they marched through the desert in the strength that bread from heaven provided them.  But this bread provided only for their physical needs.  Jesus explains, "Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died."  It was a divine provision but did not impart divine life.  That life would come when Mary would give birth to the Son of God in the little town of Bethlehem, the House of Bread.

Jesus reveals and offers to us a unique and personal relationship with him.  In the books of the Old Testament the Father taught his people.  God's words and commandments reveal his everlasting love for his people.  He gathers his sheep in his arms and he carries them out of bondage to a land he promises flows with milk and honey.  In that land of promises he teaches his people not to be deceived nor to enter into covenants with foreign gods.  He asks them to beware of gods made in the image of man with eyes that cannot see and with mouths that cannot speak.  He warns them that to stray from him will bring them into poverty of soul and body.  He laments the struggle and hurt of his people when they forsake him and he watches over them as their joys turn into heartache.  And as they hang their harps on the willow branches, unable to sing the Lord's praise in a foreign land, they remember when God once fed them with bread from heaven.

Today is the day of salvation.  For nearly 21 centuries the Church offers Jesus, the bread sent down from heaven.  It is time we pursue again this bread for ourselves and for our loved ones.  It gives us the life of Jesus.  It is personal, life changing, and helps us to be authentic and true witnesses of grace.  A personal relationship with Jesus is neither corny nor out of style.  Sometimes I ask folks, "How are you and Jesus getting along?"  When we gaze upon the sacrificial offering of Jesus we detect a fragrant and renewing aroma of heavenly bread, the bread of life come down from heaven.  And that living bread imparts to all who partake of it an incorruptible life.

How does Jesus change us?  He changes us from the inside out.  He shows us the way out of bitterness, fury, and anger, all things that originate in our heart.  But when we eat the living bread we no longer partake of the rancid ways of shouting, reviling, and malice.  When we eat the living bread we receive the power and the courage to forgive each other as God has forgiven us in the Son of his love. From the very heart of fervent love, the bread of heaven came down to us.  He is the loaf of love from which we receive the daily bread that transforms us into sons and daughters of the Father. (see 2nd reading)  

St. Paul instructs us to beware of grieving the Holy Spirit. He points to the superior life giving ways of kindness and compassion.  When we truly learn from the heart of the Father we will see the furnace of divine charity from which he give us the true bread from heaven.  When we eat this bread we become the face and voice and hands of Jesus. 

O my Jesus, how we adore you.  We lay our lives before you.  We beg your merciful love to flow over us and we ask again for that heavenly banquet. Fill us with the bread that gives us life even the life you promise to all who will partake.  We come to you hungry for a new spirit and a new heart.  Ever give us your life in this bread which is your body that we may have life and have it more abundantly.  Amen   

Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to his uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. You can email him at   His website is:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Imperishable Food

Reflections on the Readings
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 5, 2012 - Year B

The Imperishable Food

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  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; for on him has God the Father set his seal." (John 6:26-27)

I really do enjoy eating.  My affinity for food is no secret.  My wife's Grandpa McCollum enjoyed eating and really enjoyed eating desserts.  If you asked Grandpa what desserts he liked, he responded without a hint of shame, "Round ones and square ones!"  It is too many 'round ones and square ones' that recently sparked the concern of my doctor.  My feeding times now require greater discipline.  And my menu has less fat and sugar and carbohydrates.  But the repetition of eating reveals to us that the food we eat throughout the day does not last.  It perishes in our stomachs as it gives us energy and sustains us with vital nutrients and protein.  

Food also creates opportunities for getting together with family and friends.  For example, a favorite meal is served at birthdays.  Just mention Thanksgiving and familiar aromas of that festive occasion seem to swirl around us.  I remember spending Thanksgiving with my siblings a few years back.  My sister, Rachel, and all the women of our families followed mom's recipes in preparing the Turkey and all of the trimmings.  Mashed potatoes,  dressing, and green beans were all prepared mom's way.  The pecan pie and pumpkin pie and more desserts than I can remember were all made just the way mommy made them.  

Words fail me to adequately convey the emotions in me as I sat down at that table full of food.  The only people missing were mom and dad.  But after the first bite of food I could almost see them sitting at the table with us.  Everything tasted as if it came from mom's kitchen.  I was a kid again for a little while.  The feast before us that Thanksgiving day made present all of the memorable days of Thanksgivings back home at 215 Second Street, Huntingburg, IN.

There is another home.  Today's readings remind us of our true home and of that true food that is for our soul.  The food we eat for our daily bread perishes with the using.  The bread which is his body and the wine which is his blood is imperishable.  And rather than our digestive systems changing it into the energy we need, this food changes us into the persons we can't become any other way. 

So our stomachs must not be our god. (Phil. 3:19) Our deepest needs and longings are not satisfied with the food we eat or the house we live in or the career we pursue or the newest car we drive.  Jesus invites us not to be anxious about life or what we shall eat or drink or wear.  Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  Seeking these things makes us a slave to our appetites. (Matt. 6:25-34) TV commercials exploit our appetites and deceptively try to convince us that happiness and life come when our every whim is fed.  Jesus boldly declares that the Father is aware of everything we need.  And all the things we need, he provides.  But we are challenged to put first things first.  St. Augustine reminds us, "If you love the earth you will become dirt. If you love God you will become God."  That's something to think on.    

Jesus says that Gentiles are preoccupied with things.  In our second reading, St. Paul reminds us, however, that we must no longer live nor think the way Gentiles do.  Their powerless souls reflect their impotent thinking about life and the life to come.  Following Christ means walking a different direction.  A Christian no longer is under the power of deceitful desires.  Through Christ the very way we think and view the world around us is renewed.  A new energy helps us to seek what is above - even Christ our Lord.  We have a new self, a new mind, and a new spirit created in God's love.  We possess a new desire for what Paul tells us is righteousness and holiness of truth.

The miraculous feeding of the five thousand is a sign; a sign revealing another kind of food; the bread of life personified in Jesus, the true manna from heaven.  Jesus is the food that does not perish.  The great promise of Christ is that whoever eats this bread will not hunger, and he who believes in him will not thirst.  No one else and nothing else can give us what only Christ gives.  Lesser things will not do, no matter how updated they may be.  If you should lose all of your stuff and things, will you have that sure and unfailing anchor of faith in Jesus Christ?  The good life is knowing Jesus Christ as the creator of every breath we take and the giver of the deepest love our soul is made to know.  Only Jesus comes to us that we might have life and have it abundantly.  Jesus is not stingy about giving us his life.  He invites us into his life, the life he and the Father share.  It is an irrevocable invitation.  It is the power of an imperishable life he offers you and me.  

Eternal life is about becoming a new person.  Or  perhaps a better-version-of-ourselves as Matthew Kelly at likes to say.  This extreme makeover is an interior work that began with our baptism and confirmation.  And our life in Christ is sustained by Jesus who is the bread sent down from heaven. For the true bread from heaven is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.  It is this imperishable bread for which the world hungers.

They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always."  Amen.  

Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to his uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. You can email him at   His website is: