Gospel Reflection Aug 5 – Deacon Don

By August 3, 2018Gospel Reflections

Sunday, August 5

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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.”

Last week we switched from reading Mark’s gospel to that of John. Today, we continue with reading of Jesus as the Bread of Life. Last week, the people’s excitement continued with the people seeking him out in Capernaum not unlike groupies following the latest pop star or politician. Therein lies one of the lessons of today’s Gospel. The people think they are following Jesus because of the wonderful signs he performed in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Jesus tries to move them toward a hunger to the Bread of Life, which is found in following Jesus Himself.

We experience similar confusions today in our own lives when we may choose to follow leaders – pop, political, economic, or social rather than the one whom God has sent.
How does Jesus nourish us and become our food and drink?
By giving us his Word in the Scriptures
Through his Church and its unwavering truth found in its teachings
Through our human experience in how we help and support others
Through the Eucharist

There are two basic challenges being asked of us to discern and respond. First, to follow Jesus. In our world today, it is becoming more unpopular and even becoming dangerous to acknowledge Jesus openly. Secondly, once you choose Jesus, follow him for the right reasons – that he gives us eternal life in believing in Him. The followers in the Gospel today got the first point right, but missed the reason why. They followed Him for the signs and the food that does not satisfy rather than for the food that does satisfy. This was as difficult for Jesus’ followers then as it is for us today. Nevertheless, it is what is asked of us.

Deacon Don Poirier