Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

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 John 6. 24-35

"Believe in the one he has sent"

Last Sunday we listened to John’s account of the multiplication of the five loaves. The crowds were so impressed by what Jesus had done for them that they wanted to make him their king. They sought out Jesus, but he recognised that their search was misplaced; it was only “because you had all the bread you wanted to eat”. In fact the multiplication was a 'sign' of something far greater: of his power to give "food that endures to eternal life". That is what Jesus is really offering – a sharing, even here and now, in his own divine life. They still fail to understand, but they ask him what God wants of them.

What God requires, Jesus tells them, is that “you must believe in the one he has sent”. Now believing, here, does not mean simply giving notional assent to some propositions of faith. Believing "in the one he has sent" means being a true disciple of Jesus. That means choosing to really get to know him to be able faithfully to follow him. It means sharing his awareness of God as the loving Father of all, and who is present to all. It means making genuine effort to grow in his understanding of life. It means deliberately seeking to live according to his teaching and example. Especially, it means aiming always to respond with love to every other person, in every action and word, at every moment of our lives. In short, it means becoming one with Jesus and living the whole of life in communion with him.

“I am the bread of life”, proclaims Jesus, the bread “which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”, a full, complete, abundant life, right now. This is the life proclaimed and nourished in the Eucharist – his life, and its challenge to the values and attitudes we are constantly being fed by our surrounding culture.