Memory of the Church

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Memory of St. Pancratius, who died a martyr for the love of the Gospel when he was 14 years old. Prayer for younger generations so that they may meet the Gospel and the Lord.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6, 44-51

'No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise that person up on the last day.

It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God; everyone who has listened to the Father, and learnt from him, comes to me.

Not that anybody has seen the Father, except him who has his being from God: he has seen the Father.

In all truth I tell you, everyone who believes has eternal life.

I am the bread of life.

Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead;

but this is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that a person may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel continues to show us Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. At the beginning of the passage, Jesus clarifies that no one can comprehend his mystery without having faith, which the Father himself gives. He reveals the secret of the Christian life: faith is not the fruit of human effort, in striving to practice a virtuous life, but rather in allowing ourselves to be drawn by God: "No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me." The attraction about which Jesus speaks is not simply an intellectual question, but a question of the heart, of passion, of conviction. Faith, in a word, is a question of complete love; therefore, it is of the mind and heart. Certainly, this happens uniquely by willingly listening to the Word of God. In the Lord’s words, there is an attractive force that permits us to overcome every obstacle and difficulty because the beauty of life with Him dims any sense of renunciation or sacrifice. Jesus says: "Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me"; that is, one discovers life’s true meaning and receives sustaining nourishment with which one will never waiver or feel weakened. It is truly difficult to think that God himself can manifest himself through the weakness of the Gospel’s words, that his love can be touched through his children’s love. It may seem more natural to look elsewhere for nourishment for our life, perhaps in certainties apparently more solid and in feelings that may guarantee us our happiness and security. In reality, it is all an illusion. We all know the limitations and weaknesses of human things. It is much better to trust in a God who chose the words of a man to make manifest his Word, who chose weak sacramental signs through which to give us strength. There is no need for superhuman strength in order to understand heavenly things. Whoever wants to know God should know the Son. Whoever wants to understand God’s mystery should read the Gospel. And whoever listens to these words will be drawn to God and receive the living bread: "I am the living bread...Whoever eats of this bread will live forever." We live this mystery every time we participate in the Mass, where we receive the gift of the bread of the Word and the gift of its Body.