Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Share On


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6,30-35

So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' Jesus answered them: In all truth I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. 'Sir,' they said, 'give us that bread always.' 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.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus had reproached the crowds for seeking to fulfil only their own satisfaction. Jesus responded to their request not asking that they do many things, as the Pharisees were prescribing, but one only necessary thing: believe in the one sent by God. But the people ask him again and want to obtain yet another more extraordinary sign that will confirm that he is indeed sent by God. Perhaps they wanted Jesus to solve the problem of food, not just for the five thousand who had just benefited from the miracle, but for the entire people of Israel as had happened at the time of the manna. The memory of the manna had remained very much alive in Israel's tradition. It was at the coming of the Messiah that the people expected the repetition of this miracle. Jesus responds to their insistent request that it was not Moses who gave them the bread from heaven, but "it is my Father who 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." Jesus, by saying "true bread," interprets manna as a sign of the new bread that would come with the Messiah. This new bread, "the bread of God" that comes from heaven, is Jesus himself. But the hardness of the hearts and minds of Jesus' listeners do not allow them to profoundly understand Jesus' words; they continue to understand them from the starting point of themselves, from their needs and instincts. They do not understand what Jesus truly wants to say. This happens to us when we do not enter deeply into the words of the Gospel because we would rather listen to them from our viewpoint rather than what they really want to tell us. A "spiritual" reading of the Bible is needed, that is, a reading done in a prayerful mode and an open heart. Sacred Scripture must be listened to with the help of the Spirit and in communion with brothers and sisters. Without prayer, we risk having before us, not the Lord speaking to us, but our own egos. And without the community of brothers and sisters our "ego" prevents us from the broad dialogue for which the Bible was written. At this point the crowd's request is correct: "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus does not withdraw and even more clearly he affirms, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." It is a solemn affirmation, typical of the Gospel of John. With this expression Jesus shows his divine origin. Reading the fourth Gospel we see that Jesus employs many concrete images to make us understand his immense love for us. He is the true bread, the true life, the truth, the light, the gate, the good shepherd, the vine, the living water...he is the resurrection.