Reflection on John 6:24-35 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost August 1, 2021

The Gospel of John 6:24-35

The next day, when the people who remained after the feeding of the five thousand saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who 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.” 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 be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Let us Pray: Friends in Christ, God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothers as dear to us as our own needs. Loving our neighbors as ourselves, we offer our thanksgivings and our prayers in the name of your son our Savior. Amen.

Are we doing the same as the people that followed Jesus across the sea did? They started their faith journey with full stomachs, but there was something missing. Our stomachs and minds may be full of material things, but our spirit may be hungry. We can be looking for something bigger than ourselves for comfort and strength. The food that endures is Jesus himself. He is the bread that is broken and distributed for the life of the world. He is the bread that is broken and yet never divided. He is the bread that is eaten and yet never exhausted. He is the bread that consecrates those who believe in and eat the bread of life.

As we continue to work through the fallout of the virus, we are looking for something. We need to find comfort and strength to begin our journey of faith. We know that someone will always be there and that someone is our Lord and Savior Jesus. These two John passages talk of ordinary everyday items like bread and water, and yet they point people to realities that are far beyond the ordinary. Big things are going on, even if you can’t always see them. God can give water and bread that can be the very seeds of eternal life. God can cause wells to spring up, gushing into eternity. Simple things can be signs of things too great to understand fully. The people that followed Jesus wanted to see signs before they could believe in Him. They already witnessed the many wonders that He performed such as healing, raising of the dead, and feeding of thousands. They are never satisfied. Even if Jesus performed even more miracles, they will continue to look for more. That is human nature at work. Jesus told them and He is telling us now: He is the sign. So do we really need more signs or does our faith allow us to fully believe in Jesus. So, if you want to accomplish the work of God, believe in the one God has sent His son Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, and take him into our lives, we live differently. We see ourselves and one another as persons created in the image and likeness of God rather than as obstacles or issues to be overcome. We trust the silence of prayer rather than the words of argument. We choose love and forgiveness rather than anger and retribution. We relate with intimacy and vulnerability rather than superficiality and defensiveness. We listen for God’s voice rather than our own. Ultimately, we seek life rather than death.

Let us Pray: As our world continues in turmoil let us thank the Lord for the loving strength, He gives to us. We celebrate the breaking of bread and the sharing of our lives with those in need. This we pray in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Amen

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