Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us. Ephesians 5:1-2
Grant, O Lord,
that we may see in you the fulfilment
of all our need,
and may turn from every false satisfaction
to feed on the true and living bread
that you have given us in Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
- 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 14, 31-33
- Psalm 130
- Ephesians 4:25-5:2
- John 6:35, 41-51
- 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-4
- Psalm 111
- Ephesians 5:11-21
- John 6:51-58
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 11 – John 6:35, 41-51
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever …
“Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me … whoever believes has eternal life.”
From time immemorial bread has been the “staff of life,” the basic and most important food in many people’s diet. To the “murmuring” Jews (“murmuring” as their ancestors did in the desert), Jesus tries to help them see the deeper meaning of his claim to be “bread come down from heaven.” Christ is the “bread of heaven” that transcends this experience of life to the life of God. Christ the bread is the love, justice and compassion of God incarnate; God, our “Father,” is revealed in him.
The operative verbs in today’s Gospel are “believe” and “trust”: God provides for and sustains our faith in his gift of Jesus the Bread of life in the same way that First Testament wisdom nourished all who paid heed.
Manna is the manifestation of God in our midst. Manna is generosity and kindness, consolation and support, the constant, unconditional love of family and friends. Manna is food for our own journeys to God. God sends us manna in many forms every day of our lives; the challenge of faith is to trust in God enough to look for manna, to collect it before it disappears, and to consume it and be consumed by it.
As Jesus the “Bread of life” gave “life” to the world through his selfless compassion and humble servanthood to others, we, too, can give “life to the world” when we look beyond our own needs and security to the good of others, giving not from our treasure but from our poverty, nourishing one another in the love, compassion, and selflessness of the Gospel Jesus.
To receive the Eucharist worthily, we must allow ourselves not only to consume but to be consumed by the life and love of God.To his Jewish hearers, Jesus’ most astounding and revolutionary teaching is that God, Creator and Lord of all life, is our Father: God is not a mysterious cosmic tyrant to be feared but the loving Giver of life whom we can approach in confidence. The boundaries and differences that separate people are eclipsed by the realisation that every man and woman shares the same humanity, becoming one human family under the “Fatherhood” of God.
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