Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 28 juillet 2021

Whoever comes to me will never hunger, whoever believes in me will never thirst

I Am The Bread of Life; Whoever Comes To Me Will Never Hunger - John 6:30-35 - Bible Verse of the Day

The Body of Christ is a concept in Christian theology, linked to redemption, eternal life, sharing, brotherhood and the transmission of the divine word. In the Catholic Mass, the priest says during the Eucharistic prayer: « when he was delivered and freely entered into his passion, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: ‘Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body given for you’  » This reference to the Last Supper, the meal before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is symbolic of the flesh given by the Messiah to save humanity from its sins.

A little later in the service, the priest says « remembering here the death and resurrection of your Son, we offer you, Lord, the bread of life ». Rather than the bread of life of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in 1976 by Pascal and Marie-Annick Pingault and dissolved by Monsignor Jean-Claude Boulanger on 9 April 2015, the bread, as the officiant says, is the bread of life, the symbol of the resurrection brought to mankind by Jesus. The Body of Christ is the Messiah’s gift of the forgiveness of sins, it is the new word given which implies the resurrection and above all the bread of life from this Christic word which must bring charity and brotherhood. Moses brought the people out of slaveryv; Jesus, through the gift of his body, through the sacrifice, seeks to make the cardinal and theological virtues reign. The Community of the Bread of Life was a new.

From the Gospel according to John

24 When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, the people got into boats and headed for Capernaum in search of Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the river, they said to him, « Rabbi, when did you get here? « 26 Jesus answered them, « Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten loaves and been satisfied. 27 Do not labour for the food that is lost, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, whom God the Father has sealed with his seal. 28 Then they said to him, « What must we do to work the works of God? « 29 Jesus answered them, « The work of God is that you believe in him whom he has sent. »

30 Then they said to him, « What sign will you perform so that we may see him and believe you? What work will you do? 31 In the wilderness our fathers ate manna; as the Scripture says, « He gave them bread from heaven to eat. » 32 Jesus said to them, « Amen, amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

34 Then they said to him, « Lord, give us this bread always. » 35 Jesus said to them, « I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger; whoever believes in me will never thirst ».  (Jn 6, 24-35)

Give us, Lord, your Bread of Life. Here are my outstretched hands

When the crowd realised that Jesus was not on the shore of Lake Tiberias (166 km2), nor were his disciples, the people took boats and headed for Capernaum, on the north-western shore of the lake, in the north of the state of Israel) in search of Jesus. There they found him. Jesus then said to this crowd : « You seek me, not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten bread and been satisfied ».

What these people expected from Jesus were not signs of the Kingdom, but only material benefits. This diagnosis is very relevant today: we are certainly more material than those people who came to meet the one who had satisfied them during that famous multiplication of the loaves. If we allow ourselves to be challenged by this diagnosis, we will discover that we too are hungry. We are hungry for money, comfort, consideration, escape, security….

When Jesus solves our problems, we are ready to follow him without the slightest hesitation, but if he offers us disconcerting signs of his Kingdom that do not satisfy us, are we not ready to abandon him ? To truly find Jesus, we must seek him. What is our search for Jesus ? Is it the search of those Jews who sought a providential God who would feed them without them having to workc?

We ask for healings, successes, pleasures, immediate happiness, and we often forget to fulfil God’s legitimate desires, his commandment to love others as he loves himself. Only then can we truly enjoy what he wants to give us: his WORD, his BREAD OF LIFE, his PERSON through his BODY and his shed BLOOD, a true communion with him. Before we began to seek Jesus, he sought us. Let our prayer join him : Lord, we hunger for you! Show us your face! Let the fountain of your WORD flow !

Then we can be filled with your LOVE and bring it to all the people who cross our path, especially the poor and the abandoned. Jesus asked them to work for the food that is kept until eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, which the Father has marked with his own mark. This request of Jesus concerns us all: let us work for this food from heaven that gives eternal life.   The essential food we need is Jesus himself: « I am the bread that came down from heaven ». Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. (Jn 6, 51).

If we hunger and thirst for his love, Jesus will fill our hearts with the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which he makes himself available to all. Now we understand the full meaning of the Eucharist : « Jesus became bread of life to satisfy our hunger for God, but fragile as bread so that we could respond to his love for us » (Mother Teresa).

In the second reading, Paul, Christ’s apostle, tells us about people who let themselves be led by nothing: Do not behave like the pagans who let themselves be led by nothing. Do not behave like the pagans who are led from nothing, but like the new man, created holy, just and in truth, in the image of God. Whoever comes to me, Jesus insists, will never be hungry again. What a pity if our pastries were enough. Give us, Lord, your bread of life. Here are my outstretched hands.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Loyola Press : click here to read the paper →   This Sunday’s Readings

◊ Father Hanly : click here to read the paper → Homily for 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

  Father James : « Homily – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) »

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