The dialogue between the crowd and Jesus reaches a new turn. God gave manna to the Israelites in the desert to sustain them in the journey until they reached the land of Canaan. This is the prelude of the greater bread: the bread that has come down from heaven in the person of God’s incarnate Word: Jesus. The purpose of God sending his Son is to give eternal life to those who believe in the Son.
In the Old Testament, Wisdom or Hokmah/Sophia that comes from God is so pleasing to man that, far from being satiated, he will always desire for more: “He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for more” (Sir 24:20). But Jesus, the Logos incarnate, gives fulfillment to all of human longings. As the bread of life, whoever comes to him will never hunger, and whoever believes in him will never thirst. We recall here the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well: “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14). In this sense, we can say with the saints, “Lord, you are my all.”
FIRST READING • Acts 8:1b-8
There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him. Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.
Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. 8There was great joy in that city.
GOSPEL • JOHN 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.