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From: John 6:30-35

The Discourse on the Bread of Life (Continuation)

[30] So they said to Him (Jesus), “Then what sign do You do, that we may see,
and believe You? What work do You perform? [31] Our fathers ate the manna in
the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.’” [32] Je-
sus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you
the bread from Heaven; My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven. [33]
For the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven, and gives life to
the world.” [34] They said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

[35] Jesus said them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hun-
ger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”


28-34. This dialogue between Jesus and His hearers is reminiscent of the episode
of the Samaritan woman (cf. John 4:11-15). On that occasion Jesus was speaking
about water springing up to eternal life; here, He speaks of bread coming down
from Heaven to give to the world. There, the woman was asking Jesus if He was
greater than Jacob; here the people want to know if He can compare with Moses
(cf. Exodus 16:13). “The Lord spoke of Himself in a way that made Him seem su-
perior to Moses, for Moses never dared to say that he would give food which would
never perish but would endure to eternal life. Jesus promises much more than Mo-
ses. Moses promised a kingdom, and a land flowing with milk and honey, good
health and other temporal blessings [...], plenty for the belly, but food which peri-
shes; whereas Christ promised food which never perishes but which endures for-
ever” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 25:12).

These people know that the manna—food which the Jews collected every day
during the journey through the wilderness (cf. Exodus 16:13ff) — symbolized mes-
sianic blessings; which was why they asked our Lord for a dramatic sign like the
manna. But there was no way they could suspect that the manna was a figure of
a great supernatural messianic gift which Christ was bringing to mankind — the
Blessed Eucharist. In this dialogue and in the first part of the discourse (verses
35-47), the main thing Jesus is trying to do is bring them to make an act of faith
in Him, so that He can then openly reveal to them the mystery of the Blessed
Eucharist—that He is the bread “which comes down from Heaven, and gives life
to the world” (verse 33). Also, St. Paul explains that the manna and the other
marvels which happened in the wilderness were a clear prefiguring of Jesus
Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:3-4).

The disbelieving attitude of these Jews prevented them from accepting what Je-
sus revealed. To accept the mystery of the Eucharist, faith is required, as Paul
VI stressed: “In the first place we want to remind you that the Eucharist is a very
great mystery; strictly speaking, to use the words of sacred liturgy, it is ‘the mys-
tery of faith’. This is something well known to you but it is essential to the purpose
of rejecting any poisonous rationalism. Many martyrs have witnessed to it with
their blood. Distinguished Fathers and Doctors of the Church in unbroken succes-
sion have taught and professed it. [...] We must, therefore, approach this mystery,
above all, with humble reverence, not following human arguments, which ought to
be hushed, but in steadfast adherence to divine revelation” (”Mysterium Fidei”).

35. Going to Jesus means believing in Him, for it is through faith that we approach
our Lord. Jesus uses the metaphor of food and drink to show that He is the one
who really meets all man’s noblest aspirations: “How beautiful is our Catholic faith!
It provides a solution for all our anxieties, calms our minds and fills our hearts with
hope” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 582).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 04/23/2012 8:07:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Acts 7:51-8:1 ©
Stephen said to the people, the elders and the scribes: ‘You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? In the past they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. You who had the Law brought to you by angels are the very ones who have not kept it.’
  They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
  But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’; and with these words he fell asleep. Saul entirely approved of the killing.

Psalm Psalm 30:3-4,6,8,17,21 ©
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
  a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
  For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
As for me, I trust in the Lord:
  let me be glad and rejoice in your love.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine on your servant.
  Save me in your love.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
  from the plotting of men.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel Acclamation Jn10:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my own sheep and my own know me.
Or Jn6:35
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the bread of life, says the Lord.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.

Gospel John 6:30-35 ©
They people said to Jesus, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’

5 posted on 04/23/2012 8:16:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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