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Gospel Reflection

Exemple

Gospel Reflection

Today’s Gospel marks the beginning of a long interaction between Jesus and the Jewish crowd that draws out the deeper meaning of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves that we heard last Sunday.

After the miracle the crowds follow Jesus with enthusiasm but he is dubious about their motivation. They follow him because they have been so marvellously fed, not because they have seen that event’s real meaning. They have not seen it for what it really is: a sign of the presence in their midst of One who is the final gift and revelation of God.

The crowds are trying to understand Jesus within the categories of what they know from the scriptural story of their people. Moses, in their view, arranged for their ancestors to be fed in the wilderness with “bread from heaven” (the manna). They think of Jesus as a new Moses who may turn on for them a continual supply of “bread from heaven”, just as Moses did of old.

Jesus corrects them. They must not be fixated on a repetition of what happened long ago. They must understand that God (the Father) is here and now giving them a Bread from heaven that, unlike the manna of old, will not just last for a day, but will sustain them for eternal life.

Jesus is, of course, as he makes clear at the end, speaking himself as this Bread: “the bread of God … that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”.

In what sense is Jesus for me my daily “Bread of Life”?

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

 

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St James The Apostle