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Gospel - April 21, 2015


Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
JN 6:30-35


The crowd said to Jesus, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 

They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Reflection - April 21, 2015


Joseph Khalil, Ph.D. candidate in Old Testament studies

Earlier in John’s Gospel, a crowd following Jesus experiences one of his many miracles when he turns a small amount of food into a portion that satisfies every single one of them. Awestruck, they try to make Jesus their king, but he quickly retreats from them.

Not too long after that, the people rush to Capernaum to see what Jesus is doing. Jesus can tell that they are looking for him because they ate their fill, not because they saw signs, and he tells them so. What he means is that while it is all right to seek miracles, it is far more important to seek him, and to focus on him.

That doesn’t seem to sit well with everyone, as some of the people yell out, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” They either ignored Jesus’s words, or were confused about what he meant.

Jesus takes the opportunity to tell them that true satisfaction comes only from God. The ancient Israelites learned in the wilderness that fulfillment does not just include physical nourishment, but also God’s own word (see Deuteronomy 8:3). The same point is illustrated in Nehemiah 9:20, which states that along with manna and water, the Israelites also received God’s own Spirit to instruct them.

Jesus’s message is thus: true satisfaction, and full nourishment, entails not only a basket of food, but also himself. He is the nourishment we need; it is he whom we must seek.

 

Prayer - April 21, 2015


Father Herbert Yost, C.S.C.

Jesus, you open wide your hands and heart and fill us with living food.  You give us the bread of the Eucharist, the Word, the Church community.  You nourish us with nature’s beauty, friendship, people who care for us when we are in need of help. You give us the food on our table, the roof over our heads, the clothing we wear. All the necessities of life come from you, and the extras as well. Blessed be you, Lord, God of all creation. Amen.

 

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