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AHC B I Am The Bread of Life Reflections - Hebrew Catholics

Association of

Hebrew Catholics

New Zealand Branch

 

“Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature”

(Mark 16: 15)

Let us remember God’s Teaching, contained in His Word and in doing so, remain
close to Him. The following are only examples illustrating how you can note the
gems the Holy Spirit highlights for your on-going reflection.

 

I Am The Bread of Life

Ordinary 18    Year B           St. John 6: 24 — 35

 

1.   “You are looking for me not because you saw signs
      but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”

Our Lord is not saying the people didn’t see signs that His words and works heralded the coming of the long promised Messiah. He says that they are, in fact, looking for food for which they do not need to work. They may well have observed in Him signs of the Anointed One — the Messiah; and some of them surely did. Jesus is simply pointing out to them that they have put aside any religious connection, and are out to get material advantage: a free lunch. Therefore, they have chosen, according to their own convenience — the wrong priority!

The Spirit of the Lord draws near to us at times and imparts precious spiritual knowledge. If we do not honour it, take to heart and act on it, we may find it departs with no certainty of returning.

 

2.   “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”

This is a rather interesting question coming from people who have just been on a bit of a “flight of fancy” and have been stopped in their tracks by Jesus, “Sit down, sit up and listen!”

As God is the author of our Salvation, we are saved, in the first instance, by “the works of God” — the principal one being the sending of His only Son to be our Redeemer.

For us to “accomplish the works of God,” i.e. to do what He wants us to do, we are to respond to God by laying down our own will and desires, and to commit ourselves to carrying out His Divine Will. This, as we repeat almost unceasingly, is the required response to the great declaration of our Judeo-Christian Faith:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!

Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
                                       (Deuteronomy 6: 4 — 5 and Mark 12: 29 — 30.)

To respond with our whole heart to God requires a generous spirit and great faith which is the work of love. This is available to us in abundant supply when we courageously take the step to place our whole lives in His hands and wait upon His Most Holy Will to become manifest — whenever and however that may turn out to be.

 

3.     “It was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven;
         my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”

Jesus makes it very clear to the people:

“It was not Moses! ― It was God.”

He then goes on to proclaim one of the most earth-shattering declarations He ever made —

“My Father gives you the true bread from heaven!”

Have you ever heard anything like it?

Earthly bread is made from all the edible fruit, grains and seeds which the earth yields for us to eat. We can go without animal fat and flesh, but we cannot survive without the fruit, grains and seeds of the earth. They are our staple diet and the heathiest among us are those who give priority to consuming these basic and simple gifts from heaven.

With that knowledge before us, we can appreciate the image Jesus gives us when He says He is:

“the true bread from heaven”.

True bread is full of vitality and life. Jesus implies, we cannot have “true” life — fullness of heavenly life (for which after all, we were created) — unless we consume the “true bread”.

“True Bread” gives us “true Life”.

Food is meant to be consumed every day. God never provided food from the earth that would last forever. He provided daily food for us to enjoy and thrive on. This applies to earthly food as well as the spiritual —

“For the bread of God is that which comes
down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

The poor and spiritually deprived people of our Lord’s day finally yielded and begged,

“Sir (Rabbi), give us this food for the rest of our lives.”

We need to ask: do we ourselves, in our day, really seek to have such food?

Jesus invites us to come to Him and receive it, and in so doing, as we shall find — receive Him.

Shalom!

 

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