August 9, 2015: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven, ” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:41-51)
The young men and women of Jesus’ day wondered about the adults who seemed not to understand Jesus. They all knew the story of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:4-8). They knew God the Father had provided bread and had taught Elijah. Those young of heart made the connection between Jesus’ words “I am the bread of life” and His words “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God.” In their hearts, they knew that Jesus was from God.
Those young men and women smiled and eagerly awaited God’s message. Jesus said, “Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” God’s message seemed to be in code. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live forever with Jesus? They got together to discuss what Jesus meant. The bread Jesus would give must somehow nourish the soul.
The soul living in a human body is a spiritual mystery. A mystery is something revealed by God. Also, it is something that one must think about deeply. Prayer allows each of us, at any moment, to ask questions of or speak directly with Jesus. Let us spend some prayer time on the same question facing those young people. How to know and recognize God nourishing the soul?