August 1, 2021
Moses told them: “It is the bread that the Lord gives you to eat.”
No longer walk, as is the case with the Gentiles, in the emptiness of your ideas.
“I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty ”.
Reading from the Book of Exodus 16, 2-4. 12-15.
In those days, the community of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the desert, saying:
“I wish we had died at the hands of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat around the pot of meat and ate bread until we were full! They have taken us out to this desert to starve this entire community. ”
The Lord said to Moses:
“Look, I will rain bread from heaven for you: let the people go out to collect their daily ration; I will put it to the test to see if it saves my instruction or not.
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Tell them: ‘In the evening they will eat meat, in the morning they will be satisfied with bread; so that they may know that I am the Lord your God. ”
In the afternoon, a flock of quail covered the entire camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew layer evaporated, a fine, flake-like dust appeared on the surface of the desert, similar to frost on the ground. When the children of Israel saw him, they said to themselves:
“What is this?”.
Well, they didn’t know what it was. Moses said to them:
“It is the bread that the Lord gives them to eat.”
Ps 77, 3 and 4bc. 23-24. 25 and 54
R /. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we heard and learned, what our parents told us,
we will tell it to the future generation: the praises of the Lord, the power of him. R.
But he gave order to the high clouds, opened the floodgates of heaven:
He rained down manna on them, gave them bread from heaven. R.
The man ate the bread of angels, he sent them provisions until they were full.
He brought them through the holy borders to the mountain that his right hand had acquired. R.
A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to Ephesians 4, 17. 20-24
Brothers and sisters:
This is what I say and assure you in the Lord: that they no longer walk, as is the case with the Gentiles, in the emptiness of their ideas.
You, on the other hand, this is not how you have learned Christ, if you have heard him and have been indoctrinated in him, according to the truth that is in Jesus. Stripped of the old man and his former way of life, corrupted by his seductive desires; renew in mind and spirit and put on the new human condition created in the image of God: true justice and holiness.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6: 24-35
At that time, when the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they embarked and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him:
“Master, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered them:
“Truly, truly, I tell you: you are looking for me not because you have seen signs, but because you ate bread until you were satisfied. Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you; for this has been sealed by the Father, God ”.
They asked him:
“And what do we have to do to do the works of God?”
«The work that God is this: that they believe in the one he has sent».
And what sign do you make, so that we see and believe in you? What is your work? Our fathers ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
“Truly, truly, I tell you: it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. Because the bread of God is what comes down from heaven and gives life to the world ”.
Then they said to him:
“Lord, always give us this bread.”
Jesus answered them:
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty ”.
Today’s Word of God leads us into one of the most important mysteries of our Christian faith: the sacramental presence of Christ alive in the Eucharist, offered to us as the bread of life, to quench our hunger, to quench our thirst. Last Sunday the liturgy presented us with the passage from the Gospel, immediately prior to this one today, in which the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes was narrated. It was the beginning of chapter 6 of the Gospel of Saint John, a preamble to what we have heard today.
Saint John the Evangelist, the beloved disciple of Jesus, intentionally places the discourse on the Eucharist after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The parallelism between both texts and the mutual explanatory implication is undeniable.
Undoubtedly, these texts force us to ask ourselves an inexcusable question: what am I hungry for? What is my thirst? I can even extend the question to the society in which I live. Certainly we have to admit with shame and blush that in the world in which we live there are still many people who really starve, who do not have what it takes to live; there are also many men and women who hunger and thirst for justice and freedom. But the hunger and thirst that we are being told about today is more severe and profound; it goes beyond the visible and tangible, and many do not even perceive it. It is the hunger and thirst for God. Our world needs God to transform our hearts; you need Christ so that any other type of hunger and thirst will disappear and you will be satisfied and calm. Because from the encounter with God in Christ, new hearts spring up capable of recreating the world in true justice and freedom, that overcome differences, that put the poor and needy in the priority of their work and efforts.
Perhaps, as Saint Paul tells us in the second reading, we are still in the emptiness of the ideas of this world and we make our primary needs consist of temporary or even superfluous things. Perhaps we have not yet allowed ourselves to be transformed by Christ in our mind and in our spirit to realize what truly satisfies our deepest longings, our desires for happiness; perhaps we have not yet found the rock on which to build our lives; perhaps we have not yet shed the old man, anchored to the remnants of the past, corrupted by the seductions of this world. Seeking true justice and holiness is the challenge that awaits us every day to reflect with our lives the image of God in which we have been created.
Pope Francis reflected on today’s Gospel: “Jesus has come to open our existence to a broader horizon regarding the daily concerns of nourishment, dressing, running, etc. For this reason, he exclaims: “You are looking for me not because you have seen signs, but because you ate bread until you were satisfied.” The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is a sign of the great gift that the Father has made to humanity: it is Jesus himself. He, true bread of life, wants to satisfy not only bodies but also souls. For this reason he invites the crowd to procure the food that remains for eternal life: a food that Jesus gives us every day: his Word, his Body, his Blood … The Lord invites us not to forget that, if it is necessary to worry about him bread, even more important is to cultivate our relationship with him, to strengthen our faith in him, who is the ‘bread of life’, come to satisfy our hunger for truth, our hunger for justice, our hunger for love ”.
Every Sunday we are offered in the celebration of the Eucharist, gratuitously and lovingly, the Word together with the Body and Blood of Christ, the bread of life and the drink of salvation. Let nothing and no one prevent us from participating in such a beautiful banquet, enjoying such a wonderful presence, enjoying such an enormous gift.
Not these. Your Face is not seen. But you are.
Your rays shoot out in a thousand directions. You are the Hidden Presence.
Oh Presence always hidden and always clear,
oh Fascinating Mystery to which all aspirations converge.
Oh Heady Wine that satisfies all desires.
Oh Fathomless Infinity that quiets all chimeras.
You are the Hereafter and the Hereafter of everything.
You are substantially present in my entire being.
You communicate to me the existence and consistency.
You penetrate me, you surround me, you love me.
You are around me and inside of me.
With your active Presence you reach even the most remote and profound
areas of my privacy.
You are the soul of my soul, the life of my life,
more me than myself, the total and totalizing reality,
within which I am submerged.
With your vivifying force you penetrate all that I am and have.
Take me whole, oh All of my everything,
and make me a living transparency of your Being and your Love. Amen.
(Father Ignacio Larrañaga, Meeting 13)