WEDNESDAY, THIRD WEEK OF EASTER
Reading 1: Acts 8: 1-8 The martyrdom of Stephen unleashes a new persecution of Christians in Jerusalem, but the apostles continue to preach and work miracles.
Gospel: Jn 6: 35-40 Jesus continues his instruction on the Eucharist, with special emphasis today on the need for faith
FOOD FOR THE UNSATISFIED HEART
In Jesus’ day, manna was a reminder of a particular time in the history of the nation of Israel. Each day there in the wilderness, God fed the Israelites with manna. This heavenly bread was such a big deal that they made a point of celebrating it every year during the Passover meal. Jesus masterfully used this discussion about bread to teach them that, even though thirteen hundred years had passed and they had settled in the Promised Land, founded a nation, and built a glorious temple, life still felt like an exile in the wilderness, and there was still a spiritual hunger or emptiness among them.
Our Lord wants us to know that he alone is the food of our soul. The soul of every man is starved by sin. Christ is given by the Father, to be the satisfier, the reliever, and the physician of man’s spiritual need. In him and his mediating office, in him and his atoning death, in him and his priesthood, in him and his grace, love, and power, in him alone will empty and hungry souls find their needs supplied. He is “the bread of life.”
Bread is food that suits all. It is food both for the rich and the poor. So is it with Christ. He is the Saviour that meets the needs of every person. Food is what we need daily. So is it with Christ. There is no day in our lives that we can claim not to be in need of his grace. He truly is “the bread of life!” Becoming a Christian is becoming a new creation, leaving the old behind and pressing into what’s ahead, turning away from sin and turning toward Christ, etc.
When one comes to Him we move away from a life that is characterized by hunger, thirst, famine, lack, and an inability to satisfy or quench the deepest desires of our soul. We move into an entirely new kind of human experience. He becomes the very sustenance of our souls. The deep longing of an unsatisfied heart is satisfied with true food and quenched with true drink, Jesus
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 66:1-7 Cry out with joy to God, all the earth
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