This week’s gospel reading continues the exploration of John Ch 6 that began last week and will continue for another few weeks. Today’s passage begins the extended discourse on the ‘Bread of Life’ image that runs throughout this chapter. Last week’s reading finished with Jesus virtually fleeing the scene when the crowd wanted to make him king. At the start of today’s reading, the crowd has caught up with him again and appears to be looking for a repeat performance of the miraculous feeding. Jesus accuses them of simply wanting more food and not being alert to the truth of the sign they had witnessed. The crowd asks what they must do to accomplish the works of God and Jesus answers fairly bluntly, Believe in me!

In response, the people demand a sign from Jesus: produce manna from heaven as Moses did during the Exodus. In fact, manna from heaven is one of the signs of the coming of the Messiah that is foretold by the prophets. So, in their own way, the people are asking Jesus to demonstrate to them that he is the Messiah. Jesus, however, explains that it was not Moses who produced the manna, but God. In Jesus, God has already produced the sign – the Bread sent down from heaven. There is no need for Jesus to produce such a sign; the sign has already been produced by God. It is up to the people – and us – to recognise God’s gift of life-sustaining nourishment that is Jesus.

In the Eucharist, we continue to celebrate Jesus as the Bread of Life – the sustaining gift of God that ‘gives life to the world’.

© Fr Greg Sunter

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Next meeting: 6 August 2015


Ex 16:2-4. 12-15
Manna from heaven.

Eph 4:17, 20-24
Lay aside your former way of life.

Jn 6:24-35
Jesus is the bread of life.





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