Gospel Reflection Aug 1 – Deacon Paul

Sunday, August 1

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.”

Gospel Reflection:

The Gospel reading this week is the second of five Sundays on the Sixth Chapter of John. This chapter is known as the “Bread of Life Discourse” because Jesus speaks of Himself as the Bread of Life. The Church presents this so we can have a deeper insight and appreciation for the Holy Eucharist.

Last Sunday’s Gospel presented the miracle of the loaves and fish. In today’s reading, Jesus is speaking to the people who came looking for him the day after the multiplication. They asked, “Rabbi, how did you get here?” Jesus did not answer their question but instead he addressed the reason why they were looking for him…they were looking for another free meal. Jesus tells them instead to seek Bread that will last forever, the Bread He will give.

Jesus was asking His listeners to change their hearts and their minds in order to see God in a new light. Instead of asking for bread for their stomachs as their ancestors did when Moses led them out of Egypt, they should ask for the Bread of Life…the Bread Jesus was going to give them…His Body and Blood.

Friends, how hungry is your soul for God? Whenever you are wearied in your faith journey, go to Jesus not to just replenish your worn-out bodies but also to replenish your worn-out spirits. For the Holy Eucharist is a food given for the life of our souls.

St. Augustine would often end Mass by saying to his congregation: “Be what you eat.” As we come to receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass, let us “be” that loving and caring presence of Christ in our world today.

-Deacon Paul Zemanek