for Sunday, August 5, 2012
Jesus Christ is the bread of life for us. Very often, we are like the
people who left Egypt with Moses and complained about the food that God
gave to them. God the Father sent Manna and Quail for those who were with
Moses. Of course, such a diet would be awful after a long time. We all
like variety and spice in our lives.
So many people today see the teachings of Jesus our Lord as confining,
narrow and uninteresting. Yet we are on that same journey as our
ancestors: through the desert to the Promised Land. The teachings of
Jesus and His word are the Manna and Quail for us. If we are fed by them,
we will survive. Everything else that is offered as food to us on this
journey is not food, but will eventually kill us.
The most important word we can hear in the readings today is this: This
is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.
Once we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that Jesus is God and that
Jesus shows us the way to life, then everything in our lives begins to
change. We recognize that only Jesus and His teachings are the way to
live. Instead of being confining, narrow and uninteresting, our lives
begin to reflect the divine. What looks narrow opens up to eternal life.
What looks confining instead becomes growth. What seemed uninteresting
become fascinating with the glory of God.
The Letter to the Ephesians tells us that we must no longer live in the
futility of our minds. It is futile to find human wisdom to support what
we want in our lives. Human wisdom leads to death. Divine Wisdom, on the
contrary, draws us deeper and deeper into true life.
Modern secular culture wants us to believe that what is important is
money, power, free sexual relationships without commitment and having
whatever we want in every area of life. Jesus teaches us poverty, sharing
what we do have with others, a committed relationship between a man and a
woman or chaste celibacy, service to others and a commitment to follow the
teachings of the Lord Jesus in all we do.
Today, again, we must choose: life in Christ or death by the values of
our modern world. We must choose: follow the Lord Jesus or follow modern
secular culture. The choice is yours. The choice is mine. Jesus tells
us: whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Exodus 16.2-4, 12-15, 31a++
Second Reading: Ephesians 4.17, 20-24
Gospel: John 6.24-35
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: