Gospel Reflection: Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

AUGUST 2, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

One does not live on bread alone, but by every

word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint John 6: 24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.  And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.   For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”

So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in the one he sent.”

So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?  What can you do?  Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father 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
.”

So 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 hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

This Sunday’s Gospel is the second part of our five week retreat and spiritual reflection on the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel – Saint John’s Eucharistic teaching. Remember, this happens ONLY once every three years so seize the opportunity to delve deeply into your understanding, appreciation and devotion for the incredible gift of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Last week we learned that as the Lord’s hands provided healing to the sick and food for the hungry, we in turn must be willing to do the same –… Do this in memory of me!

Now the re-engagement of Jesus and the crowd at Capernaum takes on a different tone.  Jesus challenges the so-called followers to look deeper into the signs they saw performed; they are to probe deeper into WHO is providing health and nourishment, and WHAT more this Rabbi can provide — Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

Recognizing the challenge, the crowd too becomes more assertive and asks a more probing question: What can we do to accomplish the works of God?  The answer that is provided is central to the identity of Jesus who is the Christ.  The ultimate, supreme work of God, the work that surpasses all of creation is Jesus Christ Himself, the real and true work of God, and in reply our work is to believe in Jesus Christ aloneThis is the work of God that you believe in the one he sent!

Even though Jesus had just provided food for thousands of people on the hillside in imitation of His Eternal Father who fed the Exodus people in the desert, the Jews wanted another sign.  But they wanted a sign on a daily bread level; they had already retreated from probing deeper into who was standing before them and who can provide the real and lasting bread of God … which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

And so, like a shot between the eyes, Jesus answers them directly and boldly: I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.  Jesus Christ is our ALL!  Jesus Christ is the source of pure health, the only source of lasting nourishment, the only LORD.   It is Jesus Christ, the Work of the Father who gives to us the fullness of life in Word and Sacrament at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Who would dare not to do this in memory of Him!!!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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