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Gospel reflection

August 2, 2015: Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

breadmakingWhen the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6:24-35)

Reflection:

Bread is important for sustaining life. Can you imagine being a young person watching this Jesus perform the miracle of the loaves and fishes? Wouldn’t you want to find Jesus and always receive this bread?

Bread also has religious symbolism. The sowing of seeds, the harvest, and the baking of the loaves of daily bread are all possible due to God’s Providence.

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” to young men and women who understand bread’s multiple meanings. He asks them to believe He is the One whom the Father sent. Jesus then challenges each of them with His mysterious words about whoever comes to Him will never hunger or thirst. Can you hear those young men and women ask Jesus to tell them more?

Action:

This week either help bake or help prepare a meal. As you do so, give some thought as to all the work needed to grow, harvest, and obtain all the ingredients. Remember to give thanks to God for the blessings of the food and those with whom you share it. With a friend or relative discuss what you understand of the mystery of Jesus’ words about no hunger and no thirst.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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