Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Esther Adama,SNDdeN –
August 1, 2021
John 6: 24 – 35
This passage is the continuation of last Sunday’s gospel with the Jesus walking on the sea narrative appearing in between. In the verse above, we discover that Jesus is not another Moses but simply the bread of life. “Whoever eats of this bread will have life everlasting.” His coming into our life and our participation in His life unites us with the creator God.
The crowd who had earlier been fed searched for Jesus and found Him on the other side of the lake. Why were they looking for the Master? This search for me suggests two meanings.
Firstly, the crowd were looking for him to be fed as they had the day before – or they were in need of material and physical satisfaction from him. They considered Jesus to be the problem solver, one who provides for their daily needs, a wonder worker – and all this is correct about Jesus. But Jesus as a great teacher brought them out from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the known to the unknown, to a deeper understanding of his mission on earth. He wanted them to take responsibly and seriously their calls to seek not just the immediate, but to gradually develop a concrete and sincere relationship with Him.
Secondly the rationale behind the crowd seeking Jesus is obviously different from who He is and what he meant by “I am the Bread of life.” Jesus wants them not to work for external things that will perish, but to fall in love with him now, know him now, trust him now and deepen their faith in Him for who He is and not just for the material benefits he can provide.
Jesus calls us to look at Him with the eyes of faith. This also means that we must ask ourselves the reason why we seek Jesus daily in our lives. In other words, why do we follow Christ? A Muslim relation of mine once asked me a philosophical question during one of my visits to my home. What if Jesus was not the Son of God as Christians stressed, what if Jesus did not really die? What if all these stories about Him were false? What if this, what if that? My reply to him was this and still stands: “Whatever speculations there are across the globe, do not change the fact that His is the Son of God, my Savior, my Lord and the Bread of life for me. My belief in Him remains unshaken irrespective of what they say about Jesus, the situation where I find myself and the world around me.” God is all in all.
As Christians, our tasks on this planet is to eat the bread of heaven and be satisfied and overflow for others. All that we have heard and experienced in life are evidences that Jesus, the Bread of Life, is present with us. The current Covid 19 pandemic and its corresponding sufferings are indications that God is the ultimate in our lives. We have seen that human power, intelligence, physical satisfaction, health, technological advancement with all its advantages, are all passing things and finite. Only our faith in God can lead us to experience eternal life. Our conscious participation in the Eucharist and other Sacraments made available in church will lead us to life. eternal and lead us more fully in God. Let us therefore listen to Jesus who calls us daily to purify our intentions and desires us to follow and love Him for who He is to us and not just for material satisfaction. In the bread of life, we are eternally satisfied.
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
Meet Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN