18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2nd August)

First Reading: Ex 16:2-4  Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17,20-24

Gospel: John 6:24-35


“I am the bread of life. All those who come to me will never go hungry, all who believe in me will never be thirsty”. (Jn 6:35)I am the bread of life

The setting for this Sunday’s gospel is on the other side of the lake with a crowd gathered around Jesus having followed him to ask what must they do to do the works God requires. A question I often ask but an answer I may not want to know as it asks of some kind of transformation, however small. In the second reading, St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul teaches that we must put off our ‘old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires’.

In the gospel passage we see that in ways the crowd can’t even understand what it is they are looking for, how many times I can identify with that. And how often you might hear a parent say to a child, you don’t know what you want!

The first part of this gospel passage deals with faith in Jesus. Through faith we enter into a life giving relationship with him. Jesus is the bread of life. This bread of life is the pledge of eternal life. The crowd is looking for Jesus for wrong reasons, fascinated to see what it is he can do for them. But Jesus asks them to look beyond the bread that they can earn and eat and to look to the mystery and meaning of his person, to seek him in faith as the one sent by God.

St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians calls for a new self which needs to be made new in the attitude of our minds. What change of attitudes is being asked for in order to be united to Christ and experience this divine goodness so as to free ourselves from former thinking that hinders a deeper relationship with the one sent by God?

Sr Edel Murphy O.P



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