Gospel Reflection for 18th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – August 2nd 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Then the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me
because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me
will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Jesus is a man for the ‘I’ word – and not in a boastful way. He speaks of the bread in the desert, the manna which nourished the people in their wanderings. He builds on their belief in a bread from heaven, but now that he himself is the bread. The bread gives life to the soul.
A Person not a Book
Our Christian faith is centred on a person, not on a book. The gospel is the book of life because it is the book of Jesus. Jesus is our life because he comes from God. So we call this at times the bread of heaven.
What more ordinary ways can heaven and earth be linked than in the most ordinary of foods. In another country he might have said he is the ‘rice’ of life. it means that in the ordinary events of our lives, God is very near in Jesus. He makes his home in us as the bread we eat becomes part of us.
The Big Link
The same with love – our faith links always human and divine love, and human love of all sorts is a share in the divine life of love. Can we really believe this? That the next time you really love your child, your friend, your spouse or anyone in your love-life, you are bringing them a bit of God!
That is one of the main reasons why we want to live in love. That we link heaven and earth, divinity and humanity, Jesus and ourselves,. Then the ‘I’ of Jesus becomes the ‘we’ of his earthly body and presence now.
Lord, thy kingdom come!
Donal Neary SJ