18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Here we are at the beginning of August and it seems a very short time since the summer holidays began and yet it will be no time until the schools go back at the start of September.
Our Gospel reading this weekend has as its focus Food that is food for the body that is bread and food for the soul that is the Bread of life. Jesus tells the people that they are only following him because they have enjoyed the food that physically satisfies them; they should work, he says, for the food that endures to eternal life. The one thing which earns this food is believing in the one God has sent. The Galileans promptly ask Jesus for a sign to aid their belief in him – a sign like the manna their fathers ate in the desert.
Jesus points out that it was God, not Moses, who supplied the manna, he compares himself to the God who now gives bread from heaven. Jesus declares that he himself is the bread of life, the bread come down from heaven. Whoever believes in him will never be hungry. Yet there are so many people in our world who suffer from hunger, physical hunger for so many do not even have a wee bit of bread to eat or water to drink. Also there is a great spiritual hunger, there are many people out there who have lost their faith and there are also many people searching for faith who have yet to find it. I think that in our day and age we need to be the bread of life for all those who are out there who have lost the faith or those who are searching. What does it mean for you and me to be the Bread of Life to others? It really means feeding the hungry through our donations to organisations that bring physical bread to the people who need it in the world. It also means being a light showing that God the Father has sent Jesus from heaven to be our food, our strength, our hope, and our joy in living. Nothing else in life can surpass this Bread of Life given freely and freely accepted by those who choose to accept this great gift of God.