APRIL 21. EASTER. Wk 3. Wed. Jn. 6. 35-40
Updated: Aug 29
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.
But, as I have told you,
you can see me and still you do not believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I shall not turn him away;
because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will,
but to do the will of the one who sent me.
Now the will of him who sent me
is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me,
and that I should raise it up on the last day.
Yes, it is my Father’s will
that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life,
and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’
In today’s reading Christ is revealing the extent of the Love of the Father us, as he is making known that everything he is doing, and teachings, has its origins in the Father’s Love.
‘I have come from heaven; - not to do my own will; - but to do the will of him who sent me’ makes clear Obedience to the Father was the source of everything Christ did and taught; - a fact that is very easy to overlook!
This Truth also contains a powerful message for those who wish to imitate Christ, as it places humility and obedience at the heart of everything he did.
He was doing the Father’s Will!
It is very easy, for example, to see the establishment of the Church, or the institution of the Eucharist, as decisions of Christ himself, but what we are being told today is these gifts, and everything Jesus did and taught, was done in obedience to The Father.
What these truths also reveal however is the extent of Divine Love for God’s creatures; - after they had sinned; - the lengths God was prepared to go to in order to have atonement made for our sins; - a task we were incapable of doing ourselves!
Love is the primary revelation; - the Love of the Father; - that he was prepared to send his only Son to die on a Cross for the sins of his creatures; - and then the Love of the Son; - who was prepared to obey the Father’s Will; - despite the pain and suffering involved.
When we see Christ’s life in this light it also makes plain many of his teachings, such as “The Great Commandment of Love” as Love was behind everything both the Father and Son did for us.
Then there is Christ’s primary teaching; - the need to do God’s Will, rather than our own; - with the motivation for our obedience and humility being to return God’s Love!
Which is what Christ came to teach! Just as he was motivated by Love of the Father; - and of God's People; - so he spent his entire earthly life teaching us how to do the same!
Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn6:40
All who believe in the Son have eternal life,
and I will raise them up on the last day, says the Lord.
First reading Acts 8:1-8 They went from place to place, preaching the Good News
That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles fled to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.
There were some devout people, however, who buried Stephen and made great mourning for him.
Saul then worked for the total destruction of the Church; he went from house to house arresting both men and women and sending them to prison.
Those who had escaped went from place to place preaching the Good News. One of them was Philip who went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.