So when the crowd 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The Sacred Scriptures and the Christian liturgy are filled with symbols, concrete images that point to unseen realities. In today’s Gospel Jesus is challenged by his listeners to produce a sign from heaven that he is the Messiah. If he had miraculously provided a meal for his followers from five loaves and two fish yesterday, what more can he provide for them today? Jesus replies that he is the Bread of Life: “whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” If bread sustains our physical lives, Jesus as the bread from heaven will sustain our spiritual lives. We may not get all that we want by way of spiritual nourishment, but we will always get from God through Jesus all that we need, and still have something to share with others in imitation of the self-giving love of Jesus.
—Fr. Joseph Bracken, S.J. is an emeritus professor of theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
You are all we have,
You give us what we need:
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord,
Our lives are in your hands.
—Francis Patrick O’Brien, © 1958,GIA Publications, Inc.Please share the Good Word with your friends!