APRIL 20. EASTER. Wk 3. Tues. Jn. 6. 30-35
Updated: Aug 29
The people said to Jesus, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Today’s reading follows directly from yesterday, after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus told his followers “Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you”.
So, Jesus was asking them to have faith in him and his teachings, so in response they said to him; - “‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert!”
Little were they to know that the gift they were to receive was far greater than the Manna that was provided in the desert!
It is interesting to note here how Jesus answers their question directly and explicitly, but I doubt anyone who was listening to him would have “got the message” or understood it.
It was a message that can only be understood by the gift of Faith; - there is no other way, and this is why so much of what we are told in the Gospels does not make sense to those without Faith. Remember, these questions came from the 5000 who had just been fed in the desert?
And this disbelief continues! Figures from America in 2021 reveal sixty percent of Catholics in that country do not believe in the real presence in the Eucharist; - and that is a tragedy!
How grateful people of Faith must be for the enormity of this gift, that we can go to a Church every day of the week and receive Christ in the form of the Eucharist; - and not only that; - if we are in a state of Grace, the Church teaches Christ will continue to dwell in us afterwards!
Sadly, today so many Catholics continue to ask the question Christ’s followers asked in today’s reading; - “What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you?”
But Christ has already answered that question in a very clear way; - in the Easter Season that we now celebrate. Only one sign was to be given and that is the sign of Christ’s resurrection; - and he gave that sign; - yet for many Christians that is still not enough for them to believe?
Gospel Acclamation Jn6:35
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never be hungry.
First reading Acts 7:51-8:1 · 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit'
Stephen said to the people, the elders and the scribes: ‘You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? In the past they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. You who had the Law brought to you by angels are the very ones who have not kept it.’
They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’; and with these words he fell asleep. Saul entirely approved of the killing.