Homily for the eighteenth Sunday of the year - Year B - Jn. 6:24-35


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

" So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?'


" Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.'


" Then they said to him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?' Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.' So they said to him, 'Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'' ' Jesus 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. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.' They said to him, 'Lord, give us this bread always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."




Homily:


" Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you.' "


Who is Jesus to us? Does he come in order to feed our body, or rather to satisfy the needs of our soul, needs which we do not know very well, needs which Jesus himself came to manifest through his entire life, and above all through his death on the Cross? It is important to respond correctly to this question: we must look into our conscience and find out if we truly seek to satisfy the true needs of our soul, and not mere personal desires, which may be legitimate but which tend to lead us to act in a manner that is disordered, not in conformity with God's will for us. Do we work solely for food that perishes, or rather do we also work sufficiently for that which endures to eternal life?


" Then they said to him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?' Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.' "


This says it all! The Work of God is to believe in him whom he has sent, to believe in Jesus the Son of God, to believe in Christ, true God and true Man! Faith is a contact, a supernatural virtue that allows us to unite ourselves to the love of Christ. Thus, our faith places us constantly in a double domain: that of God and that of Man. For, again, Christ is at once both God and Man, and he who is united to Christ's person always finds himself placed in this double domain of divinity and humanity. But as God is first in all things, since he transcends all things, it follows that he who, through faith, is united to Christ cannot fail to rank as his first priority the needs of his soul, that element of the human person that does not nourish itself with earthly bread, but rather with the bread of Heaven!


" So they said to him, 'Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'' ' Jesus 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. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.' "


The Jews, in the desert, received something to eat: they received the miraculous manna, they found food for this terrestrial life thanks to the intervention of God himself! Providence is always there to watch over us and to provide for all our needs, principally our most urgent needs, but also sometimes those which are less urgent. God has always watched over those who entrust themselves to him with faith and love! But how could we recognize this action of Providence without the grace of God, without that action of God in us that helps us to see the Lord acting in our life? How could we direct our life toward the things of Heaven without the help of that grace of graces that is Christ in person? Just as Jesus revealed to the Jews of his time the action of God in their everyday life, in the same way he teaches us to recognize, little by little, as time goes by, that his Father is ceaselessly working for the purpose of lavishing upon us his love and help!


" They said to him, 'Lord, give us this bread always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.' "


Together, at the invitation of the Lord, let us go to him! For he says to us: "He who comes to me shall not hunger!" So, when the priest presents the sacred host, saying: "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Happy are those who are called to his supper!", let us go to the Lord in order to fill our hunger and to satisfy the real desires of our soul, those that God wants to see in us for the perfection of that image, his image, which he himself has inscribed in our entire person! Let us ask Mary for this grace, let us ask the Mediatrix of all graces to help us be able to sincerely believe in Christ, true God and true Man!



To order the weekly homily immediately, click here