Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Standard

Lectionary: 113

Gospel Jn 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.?
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

  Here comes Jesus’s statement for what the bread in the feeding of the crowds has been all about.” I am the bread of life.” I AM, YHWH, the wisdom of God and the Word of God. I AM; the answer to Moses question to God: What is your name? I AM. The I AM of Moses’s encounter with YHWH at the beginning of the Israelites Journey. “I am the bread of Life”: The bread of life that fed the Israelites on their Journey, the bread of life that nourished them through their doubts, the bread of life that was the wisdom of YHWH come down to them. Did the Israelites Journey begin with Moses, and more importantly did the Israelites journey with the “I Am”, with YHWH , end with their entry into the promised land? In the Exodus from Egypt it was Moses who led them out of that land, Moses guided by their God; led them out of the Pharaohs dynasty from slavery to freedom into the promised land. Here in this promised land Jesus gathers these the lost sheep of Israel back together.These people separated by misguided leaders, separated by invading armies,these people isolated by the sins of their fathers. Jesus says “Amen, amen, I say to you,you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” How do you interpret that statement? What was the sign they were looking for and how were they filled? It was the Pharisees that had asked him for a sign and he replied that the sign would be the sign of Jonah and now when he says they ate the loves and were filled: are these loves not the bread of Gods Wisdom and have they not been filled with that wisdom?Is that not the reason they had followed him to this place? I am the bread of life! Were they not continuing on the Journey that Moses had begun with their ancestors? Is not their following of Jesus to this place the fulfillment of the sign of Jonah that the Pharisees had requested? The sign of Jonah fulfilled but perhaps not recognized?”What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?”Did they miss the sign, did they not realize that is diverse and somewhat alienated congregation assembled was a sign in itself? Jew,Gentile, Samaritan. If just for the Jewish seeking the Messiah, was not their presence seeking that sign and willingness to accept but a glimpse of divine acceptance be  in itself a sign? Was that sign not etched in their own hearts and minds? Had they not gathered in the following of a sign(a sign to be the sign of the cross)?Now if to follow Jesus on this Journey, where were they to be led to?Moses led them out of Egypt, the Pharisees wanted to close them off to the world, the Zealots wanted to lead them into battle, the Romans wanted them to follow them to the Roman Emperor. Now gathered together, where was Jesus to lead them to? There is only one answer. To lead them on another earthly Exodus made little sense; where ever he could lead them on this planet the enemy could follow.To close them off by a border only left them open to invasion. Where were they to go? “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” The journey was to lead them back to the Father and wasn’t that the intended ultimate destination of Moses journey to the promised land, a journey towards everlasting life?”I am the bread of life;whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

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