Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6, 35-40

Jesus answered them: I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst.

But, as I have told you, you can see me and still you do not believe.

Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me; I will certainly not reject anyone who comes to me,

because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of him who sent me.

Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me, but that I should raise it up on the last day.

It is my Father's will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and that I should raise that person up on the last day.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today’s Gospel takes up the final sentence of the Gospel we heard yesterday. It is a statement that recalls those of the Old Testament that speak of the messianic banquet prepared by the Lord to his people: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Finally, the promise of God was fulfilled. Jesus also responded to the hunger for salvation hidden in the hearts of men and women: hunger for meaning, hunger for a life that does not end with death, and that leads to full happiness. Jesus was the answer from heaven, and all could accept it and make it their own. But Jesus bitterly notes that while many saw the signs, they did not open their hearts to receive his word. Yet he “did not reject anyone”: “Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” Even just a little willingness on our part is sufficient so that the miracle can happen. Let us think of the five loaves of barley that were enough to multiply bread for five thousand people. Anyone who approached Jesus was welcomed: it was sufficient to knock, even feebly, to get a response. Didn’t he say before the crowds who followed him: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”? Besides, he had descended from heaven for this: that is, to do the will of the Father who had sent him. And the Father’s will was clear: that he would not lose any of those who had been given to him. His mission was to gather all into the one fold. This is why elsewhere, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” He had come to collect the scattered people and bring them into the kingdom. The commitment to save without losing any is the continuous effort of the Lord Jesus. In the parable of the lost sheep, he describes not only his passion even for one sheep, but also the willingness to take risks and to follow rough paths. Saving all is Jesus’ constant concern. This concern he wants to be repeated over the centuries through the Church. Yes, the Church, every Christian community, should feel first of all the passion to save all men and women. Pope Francis calls us to this passion. And there is no doubt that the missionary concern should be highlighted in our days and involve all Christians. Unfortunately, we are so often turned in upon ourselves not to feel the urgency of missionary activity. But this takes us away from Jesus and from his desire to liberate the world from the slavery of evil. It is urgent to let ourselves be involved more and more by the same passion that drove Jesus to go along the streets and into the squares of his time. The words of Jesus that we have heard in this Gospel passage show us clearly what the will of God is and how to achieve it on Earth, “that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” It is a promise that is realized in us just as we spend our lives for the Lord and for others, precisely as Jesus did.