Gospel Reflections

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

John 6:24-35

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Mary Boretti

Published: August 05, 2018

Read 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. Read More…

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” 

We know that sadly in too many places in our world starvation is claiming the lives and spirits of many peoples.  God is not oblivious to this reality.  We hear and believe that “God hears the cries of the poor.”   In today’s first reading from Exodus God is not deaf to the cries of the Israelites… he listens to their groanings and provides food to sustain them, one day at a time.  Likewise, shortly before today’s passage from John, Jesus had fed 5000 with barley loaves and fish with such abundance that there were leftovers!  As we contemplate today’s scriptures more deeply, we realize that beyond the physical hunger and thirst that we all experience, some more intensely than others, God desires to satisfy our deepest hunger and thirst beyond the physical.  As Pope Francis said:  “Human beings all over the world today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not just to satisfy physical hunger.”  He named some: hunger for love, immortality, affection, being cared for, forgiveness, and mercy. Others might add hunger for peace, healing, purpose, freedom.

What are your deepest hungers?  For what do you thirst?

I asked myself these questions and what spontaneously arose from within was “communion”. Perhaps that answered my query why for weeks I have been humming these lyrics from the song, One Is, by Rory Cooney:

One is the body, one is the bread, one are the living, the unborn, the dead, one is the cup, one blood in us flows, one is the breath of the star and the rose…”One are the strangers, my foe and my friend.  To this I will say Amen!”*

Jesus recognized that the people, although their stomachs were filled, were hungry for something more than they could name.  He offers them something more lasting:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger; whoever believes in me will never thirst.” In Eucharist, Holy Communion, the body and blood of Christ become our body. When we say “Amen”/“I believe” we acknowledge the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and firmly express our desire and intention to become the real presence of Christ in our world.  We choose to take into our minds, hearts and bodies Jesus’ entire manner of being. Being Oned with Christ and in true solidarity, we make the needs of others our own, becoming living bread … the embodiment of communion. 

Communion with Christ and with one another satisfies our hunger and thirst for all that is most deeply human.  Might it also satisfy God’s own deep hunger and thirst for us?

*(To hear all the inspiring lyrics of this song delight yourself by finding it on Youtube.)


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