Tuesday, 17 April 2018
3rd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 7:51—8:1
Gospel: John 6:30-35
The people said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to him, “Give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
A hungry man prays for grains so he could have something to cook. After fervently praying, he hears a truck drop by his yard and sees a man dropping a sack. He runs down believing God is sending that truck in answer to his prayer. To his dismay, the sack contains seeds for planting, not grains for cooking. “Didn’t I pray for grains?” he asks. God answers, “You can plant those seeds so you may have enough grains for a lifetime”. But he argues, “What’s the use of all these seeds when it has not rained for quite a time?” The Lord answers, “That’s where faith should be put to work!”
This anecdote takes us to the heart of today’s Gospel message. The Jews asked Jesus for a miracle, and they even dictated to him the details. They were asking for something as spectacular as manna falling from heaven. In answer Jesus said that more than manna falling from heaven God could give them the Bread of Life. The Jews reverted to “wait-and-see” mode. Would he magically cause life-giving bread to fall down from heaven and so produce the sign they were asking?
To their surprise instead of gesturing with his hand for bread to fall from heaven, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.” Jesus’ answer begged the question. They were precisely asking for signs so that they may believe in his person. How can they believe in his person when the only sign he could present was the sign of himself?
We see a pattern here in the way Jesus evangelized his people. He was always reluctant when it came to performing spectacular works. He even refused the demand that he’d come down from the cross so that the Jews may believe in him (Luke 23:39). In refusing to call down manna from heaven Jesus was trying to extract faith from their hearts. That was where their faith should have been put to work. –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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