As we listen to the Word of God today, we see a very serious link between what is happening in the Book of Exodus and St John’s Gospel.
The people of Israel are complaining against Moses for bringing them out of the slavery of Egypt! There they had plenty to eat but now in the wilderness they were hungry. They forgot about the burden of slavery and the life of drudgery they had and didn’t appreciate their freedom. They only thought about the hunger. But God provided them with ‘Manna from heaven’. Soon they were going to complain about that too – it was monotonous day after day!!
We take up the Gospel story as Jesus tries to move the peoples’ minds from earthly human needs so that they can value the eternal life-giving bread from heaven – he is reminding them that ‘He is the bread of life’. This is the food that Jesus is offering to all of humanity. He is simply asking the listeners to believe in him: “This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent”. We need to believe in the promises of Jesus. He has come to us so that we may never be hunger or thirsty.
On those Sundays, we are invited to renew our faith, understanding and belief in the Eucharist the Mass. It is at the very center of our faith. This is what we hear from St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: “Your mind must be renewed by a SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION so that you can put on a new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth”. So Paul is telling us to be very radical and fresh in our thinking. Renewal means moving on, it means leaving old ways behind; it means new beginnings. It is not abandoning the truth of our faith, but a matter of bringing a freshness and a new urgency into our spiritual lives.
Sometimes we feel we are not getting anywhere on our spiritual journey. But we can be renewed when we gather together for Mass. We can experience something of the divine life of heave, When we hear The Word of God, we are renewed. When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we are recreated. We can be changed to become like Christ when we received and so become living witnesses of Christ to the world. What a privilege and task!
Have a good week! Fr Joe