Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Isaiah 55:2
whose Son Jesus fed the hungry
with the bread of his life
and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us with your true and living bread,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
- 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
- Psalm 51:1-12
- Ephesians 4:1-16
- John 6:24-35
- 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 14, 31-33
- Psalm 130
- Ephesians 4:25-5:2
- John 6:35, 41-51
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 10 – John 6:24-35
“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life …”
Several scholars have suggested that Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel may have originally been the text of a homily by an early Christian teacher on the Eucharistic action of Jesus.
Jesus is apparently speaking to two groups: those who witnessed the miracle of the loaves (last Sunday’s Gospel) and those who did not see the miracle but have heard about it and want to see a similar sign for themselves. To the former, Jesus tells them there is something much deeper in this event than “perishable food” being multiplied; the real “food” is the word of God proclaimed, its power and authority manifested in the miracles of the loaves.
To the latter group who seek a sign as the Israelites sought a sign from Moses, Jesus reminds them it was not Moses himself but God working through Moses that provided their “grumbling” Exodus ancestors with bread in the desert (recalled in today’s first reading from Exodus). God has given his people new bread for the new covenant – the Risen Christ.
A life of true joy and meaning is driven not by “perishable” material things and fleeting experiences but by the “non-perishable” values of God.
The crowds in today’s alternative first reading from Exodus and Gospel reading from John are typical: the starving Israelites turn on Moses and demand God do something and the crowds want to make Jesus the Miracle-worker their king but will later have nothing to do with Jesus the Crucified. Discipleship requires constancy and courage to stand with the suffering Jesus so that, one day, we might stand with the Risen Jesus.
The Eucharist demands more than the opening of our hands to take and our mouths to consume – the Eucharist calls us to open our hearts and spirits, as well, so we may become what we receive.
Jesus calls us to get beyond our desire for instant gratification and quick fixes and discover the Word of God – “food that endures” – creating and animating our lives and our world.
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