August 2 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Food that lasts for ever

July 30th, 2015

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First Reading  Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
The Lord feeds the Israelites with manna

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 78:3–4, 23–24, 25, 54
A song of praise to God for his deeds to Israel.

Second Reading  Ephesians 4:17, 20–24
Christians become a new creation in Christ.

Gospel Reading
John 6:24–35

 

Jesus tells the crowd in this week’s Gospel that they are following him for the wrong reasons. They seek him because he filled their bellies. The Israelites, too, were content to follow God so long as there was plenty of food. Food is the most obvious of signs—because it is the most basic of our human needs.  We need our daily bread to live. But we cannot live by this bread alone. We need the bread of eternal life that preserves those who believe in him. The manna in the wilderness, like the bread Jesus multiplied for the crowd, was a sign of God’s Providence—that we should trust that he will provide. These signs pointed to their fulfillment in the Eucharist, the abundant bread of angels we sing about in this week’s Psalm. This is the food that God longs to give us. This is the bread we should be seeking. But too often we don’t ask for this bread. Instead we seek the perishable stuff of our everyday wants and anxieties. In our weakness we think these things are what we really need.