WEDNESDAY, THIRD WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 8: 1-8; Ps 66: 1-7; Jn 6: 35-40
BREAD THAT TRULY SATISFIES!
Christmas is the celebration of life, of God becoming like us. Easter on the other hand is the celebration of new life, of God raising us to be like him. Today’s readings remind us about that. Jesus reveals more of himself to us, and today he says “I am the bread of life… who has come down from heaven”. Why is this challenging for people to believe? Firstly, because they knew his family – Joseph, Mary, his relatives; and secondly, because Jesus, a mere human is associating himself with the manna, the heavenly bread given to Israel in the wilderness.
Jesus is saying, “I am the manna and you will need to partake of this manna in order to really live and enter into the eternal Promised Land.” He also promises us, “You will not hunger”, “I will not cast you away” and “I will raise you up on the last day”. This is a call for us to rely on our Lord and not on the other things that give us security – possessions, fame, our own righteousness, our own strength. This is an opportunity for a personal reflection on how we can rely more on the Bread of Life himself.
The first reading and the responsorial psalm give us confidence that we can truly rely upon God even when the situation is extremely challenging. In the face of persecution, just after the martyrdom of Stephen, the early Christians continued to preach the good news. The ministry of Philip is presented here as a great example of standing up amid fear and persecution and preaching Jesus, his death and resurrection.
We live in different times, but not necessarily easier. The call remains the same. Preach Jesus and guide people to the Bread of Life. As Christians, it is a fundamental call for us, to not just be concerned with our own needs, but with the many people who do not know Christ, the true bread, and his promise of eternal life to all who believe.
Response: Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.
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