Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2021

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Thomas the Apostle, Glen Mills, PA


Book of Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15

Psalm 78:

Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

John 6:24-35


            In last Sunday’s Gospel narrative we heard about Jesus feeding a great multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish.  The people were so impressed by this miracle that they wanted to proclaim Him king.  The people were hungry and He fed them.  A great gesture on our Lord’s part but that’s not what His ministry was all about.  It’s not why God the Father sent Him into this world.  His mission, of course, was to change hearts, a mission that threatened the power and position of the religious leaders of His day.  Jesus travels to  Capernaum and the crowd of people catches up with Him.  This is where today’s Gospel begins. 

            The people begin the conversation by asking how and when Jesus arrived in Capernaum and immediately our Lord takes the conversation to a deeper level.  He knew that they were looking for Him, the received a free meal, but they didn’t understand that what Jesus had done in the feeding was a “sign” that would have a message for them.

            Jesus indeed fed the multitude and He did it through a miraculous sign.  However, it wasn’t meant to be a special sign.  It was meant to tell the people something.  They didn’t catch the meaning of what Jesus was talking about.  He told them, “Do not labor for food that perishes.”  But we do have to labor for our food.  God told Adam after he ate the forbidden fruit that he would have to, “Earn your bread by the sweat of your brow.” (Gen.3:19)  Our Lord wanted the people to know there are things even more important that having something to eat when we are hungry.  A person without spiritual vision might ask, “What things?”  Jesus’ answer is that it is good that He is willing to offer us food that will satisfy us and bring us eternal life. 

            Friends, today’s Gospel is an important one.  We should reflect on two words (that is in addition to the word “signs.)  They are “work” and “believe.”  Why? Because the people ask, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”  Jesus responds to them, “Believe in the One He sent.” 

            We are blessed by our Lord Jesus with His promise to the crowd who followed Him, as well as all of us who follow Him today, as He said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.

Question of the Day:  How will you convince others to return to the Holy Eucharist, the true bread from heaven? 

Prayer:  “The Lord gave them bread from heaven.”  (Psalm 78)


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