18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (5th August)

Jn 6: 24-35

Calculation puts an end to all friendship. We have a keen sense for situations and relationships in which people are only nice to us because they want something. True, little presents keep a friendship alive, but if the eye is only set on gain, this friendship will slowly wither or even end with a bitter bang. A cost-benefit calculation will never get to the core of real friendship, this “masterpiece of nature”, as the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us that the same applies to our relationship with God. If we only look for signs and favours we will actually miss what God is really offering us: his very self and his friendship “for life” – in the truest sense of the word.

I wonder if we Christians have become so unconvincing in our witness to the Gospel because we often have applied a false and calculating understanding of friendship to God: niceties first, benevolence second. Would we think so little of a human friend? And would this friend not be hurt and rightly so? Woe to us if petty-mindedness assails us!


Sr. Sabine Schratz OP


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