Saturday, August 04, 2012
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
Ex 16:2-4, 12-15 / Eph 4:17, 20-24 / Jn 6:24-35
EXODUS 16:2-4, 12-15
In the desert the whole community of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of Yahweh in Egypt when we sat down to caldrons of meat and ate all the bread we wanted, whereas you have brought us to this desert to let the whole assembly die of starvation!" Yahweh then said to Moses, "Now I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to gather what is needed for that day. In this way I will test them to see if they will follow my Teaching or not. "I have heard the complaints of Israel. Speak to them and say: Between the two evenings you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have bread to your heart's content; then you shall know that I am Yahweh, your God!" In the evening quails came up and covered the camp. And in the morning, dew had fallen around the camp. When the dew lifted, there was on the surface of the desert a thin crust like hoarfrost. The people of Israel upon seeing it said to one another, "What is it?" for they didn't know what it was. Moses told them, "It is the bread that Yahweh has given you to eat."
EPHESIANS 4:17, 20-24
I say to you, then, and with insistence I advise you in the Lord: do not imitate the pagans who live an aim less kind of life. But it is not for this that you have followed Christ. For I suppose that you heard of him and received his teaching which is seen in Jesus himself. You must give up your former way of living, the old self, whose deceitful desires bring self-destruction. Renew your selves spiritually, from inside, and put on the new self, or self according to God, that is created in true righteousness and holiness.
When they saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Master, when did you come here?" Jesus answered, "Truly, I say to you, you look for me, not because of the signs which you have seen, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for he is the one on whom the Father has put his mark." Then the Jews asked him, "What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?" And Jesus answered them, "The work God wants is this: that you believe in the One whom God has sent." They then said, "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.
Our Gospel today is a continuation of last Sunday's Gospel where Jesus multiplied bread and fed the multitudes. Because of the miracle, the crowd thought of making Jesus their king; and so Jesus escaped to the mountain (John 6:15). In our Gospel today, many pursue Jesus, not because they have finally found their savior, but because he gave them bread. Jesus explicitly voices out his disappointment, "You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled." The crowd even demands to be provide bread for them to believe: "What sign can you do that we may see and believe in you?" (John 6:30). But Jesus calmly reacts in the midst of their apparent spiritual immaturity and instead, offers a life-giving option, "Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John 6:27).
What food is Jesus is telling us about? First, he is referring to his body and blood that we partake of in the Eucharist. (John 6:54). Second, he refers to the Word of God. When the devil tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Jesus simply said, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4). Motivated by his great love for the Father, Jesus lived obeying the Father's will; his Father was his everything.
Our Gospel challenges us to purify our motivation every time we pray. Do we pray to seek his will and guidance? Do we pray because we have this hunger and thirst to know Jesus? Or do we pray because we have something to ask?
God does encourage us to ask anything in His name. But if God becomes like an ATM to us, we miss the point of prayer. Prayer should lead our eyes to the poor, marginalized, and abandoned. It is listening and responding, not only asking. We seek Jesus in prayer because we want to know him more intimately and imitate him, especially his faithfulness and obedience to the Father.
When Jesus told the crowd to seek food that endures forever, the crowd suddenly made a breakthrough when they asked: "What can we do to accomplish the words of God?" They understood and set aside their "What can I get?" attitude for the "What can I do?" attitude.
Let's choose to be a bread-sharer and not just a bread-eater. Like Jesus, let us give the bread to the hungry. In today's second reading, Paul exhorts us "to put away the old self and put on the new self " (Eph 4:22-23). Let the words of the crowd be our prayer, "What can I do to accomplish the works of God?"
Today, let us pray, "Lord God, tell me what to do. Amen."
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, SJ
- Mon Torres
- Ditas dela Paz
- Tito Oreta
… for the personal intentions of
- Nze and Lolo Collins Amadi and family , Mrs Cordelia Onwuka and family
- Ramon S. Fecundo, Conchita S. Fecundo, Fecundo Family, Bukas Family
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Missy Padlan
- In Memoriam (+): Theresa Yang
- In Memoriam (+): Salvador Manlangit
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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