APRIL 22. EASTER. Wk. 3. Thu. Jn 6. 44-51
Updated: Aug 29
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘No one can come to me
unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God,
and to hear the teaching of the Father,
and learn from it,
is to come to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father,
except the one who comes from God:
he has seen the Father.
I tell you most solemnly,
everybody who believes has eternal life.
‘I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the desert
and they are dead;
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so that a man may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’
What Christ is revealing to us here is the Truth that the Father is the one who has loved us, and the one we should love in return. Christ always puts the Father first; - something made clear here; - and again when he taught us to pray; - by saying the Our Father!
“No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me!” Christ did not come of his own accord, rather he came because he was sent by the Father, and he goes further in saying; - “To hear the teaching of the Father and learn from it is to come to me!”
What we are being told here is all of Christ’s teachings are from the Father; - and if we put them into practice; - this will result in our becoming disciples and companions of Christ!
The role Christ is proclaiming as his own here is, a teacher sent by the Father, and this is because; - “nobody has seen the Father, except the one who came from above”; - himself!
But then his teachings become much deeper. First, he proclaimed himself a teacher; - “I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes (me) has eternal life”, but then he goes much further and proclaims; - “I am the Bread of Life”, and refers this role to how God’s chosen people had been given food, or “Manna from above”, during their pilgrimage in the desert!
These were strange words, and hard to believe, so Christ goes on to make the teaching very clear; - “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
So, Christ is proclaiming himself ‘a teacher from above’ and ‘food’ for the pilgrimage of life!
Gospel Acclamation John 6:51-52
I am the living bread from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live for ever.
First reading Acts 8:26-40 Philip baptizes a eunuch
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Be ready to set out at noon along the road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.’ So he set off on his journey. Now it happened that an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia, and was in fact her chief treasurer. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and meet that chariot.’ When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ ‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this:
Like a sheep that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a lamb that is dumb in front of its shearers,
like these he never opens his mouth.
He has been humiliated and has no one to defend him.
Who will ever talk about his descendants,
since his life on earth has been cut short!
The eunuch turned to Philip and said, ‘Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?’ Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus to him.
Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?’ He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and Philip baptised him. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found that he had reached Azotus and continued his journey proclaiming the Good News in every town as far as Caesarea.