The crowd said to Jesus: “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 Jesus, “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.”
Many of us think and act as if faith is the fruit of external signs and our personal efforts.That is why the people ask for a sign from heaven to believe in Jesus. Jesus comes to help us to discover the visible signs that already represent the divine presence, not only in our history, but also in our daily lives, here and now. Faith is a gift from God and we need to welcome it and accept it, as it is given to us, not in human terms, rather in divine generosity.
Jesus in history is already a sign for us and his presence in the Eucharist is an affirmation of the divine desire to participate in our daily lives. By participating in the Eucharist, we renew the covenant made by God to humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we do not see this event as a sign and work of divine salvific act in perpetuity, how can we believe in divine love? The refusal of this gift is a refusal of the life that God offers us.
Action of the day : Humbly acknowledge and accept the divine gifts.
«My Father gives you the true bread from heaven»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)
Today in Jesus' words we can verify the confronts and the complementarity between the Old and the New Testaments: the Old Testament was an expectation of the New Testament and in the New Testament, God's promises to the fathers of the Old Testament are being fulfilled. Thus, the manna the Israelis ate in the desert was not the authentic bread from Heaven, but an anticipated image of the true bread that God, our Father, has given us in the person of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent to us as Saviour of the world. Moses begs for God to give the Israelis physical food; Jesus Christ, instead, has given Himself for us as that divine aliment yielding life.
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?” (Jn 6:30), the Jews ask unbelieving and irreverent. Do they perhaps consider meaningless the sign of the multiplication of the bread and fish Jesus had accomplished the previous day? Why did they want yesterday to proclaim Jesus as a king while today they do not want to believe him anymore? How often can the human heart change! St. Bernard of Clairvaux said: “It is so that these impious ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end, not by exhaustion but by attainment.” And so it happened that those Jews, engulfed by a materialistic vision, expected someone who would nourish them and would solve all their problems, but they did not want to believe; this is all they desired out of Jesus. Is not this the idea of he who is only interested in a comfortable religion, tailor-made and without any commitment?
“Sir, give us this bread always.” (Jn 6:34): I wish I could say these words, pronounced by the Jews from their materialistic look at life, with the sincerity faith provides us with; that that these words truly mean a desire to nurture myself with Jesus Christ and to live closely united to Him forever.